Guest post by Sumeshnee Reddy
Freedom. What does it truly mean to be free?
For some who are in prison, it means that their physical movement is limited and that they are trapped in a place that they cannot get out off. Yet many are trapped in prisons of their own making. A prison in their mind. Your culture or traditions could be imprisoning you. Constant worrying and your thoughts could be your very own personal prison. Un-forgiveness and your past hurts could be your prison. Whatever your prison may be, we are all wanting out. No one wants to stay a prisoner, we are all searching for a way of escape, for freedom.
“True freedom never comes until we fully realize that we don’t need to struggle to get from others what God freely gives us: love, acceptance, approval, security, worth and value.” – Joyce Meyer (The Approval fix)
My prison has been the approval of people, my need for people to “like me”, to approve of me. Maybe I lacked that growing up, but whatever the cause, this quote from Joyce Meyer really spoke to me. If we look to people for our approval, security, worth or value, then we are forfeiting the grace and freedom that comes from God. This also puts undue pressure on the people around you, to perform and to make you feel like you are enough. This is not fair, nor is it healthy.
Often in marriage, people tend to do this. They put undue pressure on their spouse to be their voice of approval. They look to man to do something that only God can do.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says “ Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”
True freedom can only be found in Jesus. True validation can only be gained from the words of Jesus, not the words of (even) a well-meaning person. The danger lies in the potential of finding our meaning from the words from people, and not being fully reliant on the truth that the word brings about who we are.
The word of God is like God, constant and consistent, while people are not always this way.
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Seeking to please people is like a big black hole that sucks you in and keeps sucking you in, it’s never-ending. You will find yourself bowing to their will and compromising on important things just, so you will receive that little pat of approval. God’s starting point is that he already approves of you, no matter what you do or don’t do.
Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
So, go ahead and walk in freedom, because you truly are free. Free from people-pleasing or from any other thing that is trying to hold you back and ensnare you. Believe in it and live it daily, reminding yourself that God has made you free indeed, and when you forget, let His word lead you.