“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
Freedom – My friend Steve hit the nail on the head. “There is a direct correlation between your willingness to face the darkness of your own pain and your ability to live freely and fully.” The opposite of freedom is not captivity. It is fear.
On Thursdays I spend time with the juvenile inmates at the local county jail. It’s a very large and very depressing place. Most of us aren’t aware of these monuments of fear tucked away in inconspicuous places. We don’t want to think about them. They scare us. Inside are thieves, murderers, drug pushers, molesters, con men and a whole host of bad people. All the things we want to keep away from. When I talk with these young men, I often tell them that the concrete walls and steel bars are not their prison. As long as they live in fear, they carry the jail around inside them. Then I leave. I walk out through the steel doors and get in my car and drive away. But I’m not anything more than an inmate without the blue coveralls unless I take care of my own fear. Unfortunately, most of us are really prisoners without uniforms and we are far worse off than the ones who know they are locked up.
If you won’t face your fears, you can’t be free. Freedom isn’t purchased by bombs and battles or by votes and victories. Freedom is purchased by confession.
What makes you afraid?
I might lose my job. I could go bankrupt. My marriage is in trouble. My children are lost. My husband is having an affair. I’ve been divorced. I cheated my business partner. I pretend to be honest. I’m an alcoholic. I’m a sex addict. I’m estranged from my family. My past is degrading. I stole from my company. I was fired for lying.
Want to add your own items? Jesus came to set you free. His intention was to tear down those inside jail cells that we so cleverly camouflage. You can’t be free until you look your fear right in the face and say, “Oh, God. I’m afraid. But You came to set me free. Help me walk right up to my fear and introduce You as my friend and not worry about what will happen next.”