Morning Musings from Reading John 8:32-36
Freedom is living independently of pressure and stress. That may mean something different to everybody, common words conjure different perceptions. For me freedom was found after giving myself permission to be released from other people’s mess. I had to make myself understand that I am not responsible for the choices others make and I should not try to fix them. I know that’s God’s job. While sitting in the middle of a mess, I gradually let go of my opinions, judgments, feelings, and points of view and replaced them with asking God for his perfect will to be done. Then, I was released from mental bondage.
Instead of trying to figure out what to do or say about…, instead of rehearsing the scenarios by repeating them, always talking and thinking about them, I finally began to cut my thoughts off and replace those thoughts with, “Nevertheless, not my will, but your will, dear Lord.” Oh, the freedom of choice. I choose to not go back to the way I used to be. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (John 8:34-36) There was a time I would have cared about being too transparent. I am not enslaved to that any longer. That caused unnecessary, self-imposed pressure and stress and led to a heart attack (2011) in a particular situation. My condition caused my perception to change. Maybe my exposure will be helpful to somebody since it no longer hinders me. If at least one person grows from my musings, then my sharing how I am growing isn’t in vain.
You are a servant to what you do. You are enslaved by your choices or refusal to make choices. You could be the servant of, or enslaved by, your refusal to change. That could be on your job, in your family, or in other parts of your personal life. Your mind set is your true manipulator, either you take charge of it or you give it away to someone else. To whom do you choose to give it?
Your position in any relationship is due in part to your state of mind. If you believe there needs to be a change, it starts with you. Don’t try to manipulate the others, work on you. You’re tired of the pressure manipulation puts on you, so don’t reverse it. Eliminate it by contrasting the “you” that you are and the “you” that you want to become. Practice being the way you want to become. It starts with self-image. You don’t have to be enslaved to the “you” of your past.
A person working for you can leave or be terminated. (John 8:35) A member of your family will always be a member of your family. So the employee and the family member don’t really hold the same position, except in your state of mind. You can choose to terminate the old way of doing and being so that what remains is the “you” you were created to be. Your position in your spiritual house either has stability or it doesn’t. Your position in your own spiritual house either has tenure or it can be cast out at any moment. Find your place in the family (whatever relationship that is for you) by looking inside yourself. What banner will you wave permanently to represent your mental condition and position in this world?
If you want to be in the condition of freedom, then you need to be released from whatever keeps you in bondage. The word “if” indicates a condition. The condition of freedom is powerful. Your bonds and someone else’s are not necessarily the same. Whatever keeps you entangled mentally enslaves you to it. You need to be released from that to experience mental freedom. When you do that, you will be free indeed. This spiritual freedom may be beyond your experiences thus far, or beyond the concept that others have of you.
The concept of freedom must begin in you. You have to choose daily how you live. You can be in the middle of a mess but not enslaved to being a part of that mess. You could be the change agent that causes a shift simply by maintaining control of your choice to wave the banner that proclaims freedom and remain free in your state of mind. It’s not permanent. Minds change all the time. Wherever anybody is has to be different from when they were born, things do change. You don’t have to stay in the mess; mentally relocate. I’m not saying leave your relationship, quit the job, or move out. I’m saying look at the role you play in perpetuating the position you’re in. Relocate your thoughts and begin to redefine you.
What’s in your heart? What gets to you like nothing else can? Choose to stop letting it by replacing it with a specific thought, another thought specifically conjured up when that condition or situation appears again. Conquer it, before it conquers you. You deserve to be free of mental bondage or manipulation, bullying. Being bullied is not just something among school-aged children; that trait follow us into adulthood. Seek spiritual freedom that starts with your self-perceptions. Now that’s Independence Day!
John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set FREE?” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you FREE, you will be FREE indeed.
And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor. www.barbaraafbrehon.com