There is so much that can unify us, but when I look around, I see so much division!
I see a divided world: first-world countries versus third-world countries. I see a divided nation: very clearly defined differences in ideologies/beliefs and political systems. I see a divided church: legalism versus grace versus faux-grace and one denomination against another denomination. I see divided homes: parents warring against children and vise versa. I see divided marriages: marriages that elevate one gender against the other and one belief system against another. I see divided souls: people that walk in confusion, doubts, unrest, and inconsistency. I see divided identities…
I see a world that reflects nations that reflects churches that reflects families that reflects marriages that reflects souls.
I see so many divided souls because the pains/wounds and mistakes of the past still imprison the present and the futures, unless truth/life is allowed to bring healing.
This can seem to over-simply things, but it is not a simple process. It takes layers of healing to occur before we begin to stop living from the past and begin to live from the future.
We experience pain in our past, and we decide to live differently. In fact, we will often pick something very different from our past and think that choice and system of belief will guarantee that we have moved on.
We understand that the systems of our past were broken and faulty, but what we don’t understand is what wholeness looks like.
Without understanding wholeness ourselves, we will hop from one broken system to another. They may have a different name, appearance, and message, but the crazy thing is they can often be just the other side of the coin that we had in the past.
Just picking a different system does not guarantee that we are headed into true life, freedom, and healing.
The problem is that when we are wounded, we will choose something different, but the different is not necessarily all whole and good itself.
At first, the different feels good, safe, and liberating. It’s a break from those things and people that wounded us in the past. After awhile though, we begin to realize that throwing off one yoke doesn’t mean we haven’t picked up another yoke with which to replace it.
In fact, the nature of woundedness means we will often pick up another yoke just as heavy or heavier than the one before. It just looks different and feels different so we don’t realize that it is still a yoke.
And… Freedom is not living a life free of any constraints, responsibilities, expectations, structures, or truth to guide us.
Something in life is always compelling us. It’s either others, a system, a belief, or ourselves.
We hear that we are to live freely for ourselves — that we dream our biggest dreams and allow no one to hold us back.
We think that by breaking free from others we break free ourselves. There is some merit to this. We don’t want to live to please everyone else, but on the other hand, we don’t want to live to please ourselves or that is the ultimate form of narcissism.
How do we therefore break free from people and at the same time break free from ourselves?
When you have felt the bondage of control and manipulation by others, you often think that freedom means the absence of accountability, structure, or response on our parts. You think it means that you are free to live and believe however you choose. To a huge extent, you are. We are free to choose what we believe and how we live, but we are never free from the outcomes of those choices — just like, thank God, neither are those who have hurt us!
Do we really want a world that is devoid of consequences or accountability?
Do we really want a world that chooses to live for self in order to liberate self? Does that really make sense?
Can we be liberated if we live in bondage to the whims and desires of self?
Ultimately, we will also hold others captive to our own selfish desires.
…And… Can we really live free when we merely live in a reactionary state from the past? Is that not still living under the influence of the past?
The point is we may choose something different because it is different, and maybe we will find something true and good in the process, but maybe we won’t.
If we are simply living from reactionary mode, our decisions are not based on clear and truthful thinking. Reactionary mode means that we are unable to accurately position ourselves and our beliefs on a foundation of clear and stable thinking.
What then is the answer?
Find healing. Be aware of your sources. Find God for Himself rather than the twisted examples perhaps you were shown. Find Him where He reveals Himself: creation, His Word (take off others glasses when reading it), simply communicate with Him. Talk with Him, ask Him your questions, and listen.
Know that freedom is more than throwing off bondage. It’s replacing it with truth.
Truth is actually the surest form of freedom there is.
I hear though a lot of people who react to the word truth. There are several reasons for this response: reaction to their past (haven’t healed fully yet), they are still in the state of living ultimately for themselves, they are reacting to twisted thinking that was portrayed as “truth,” and they don’t actually understand what truth is.
If you want to know truth, find God. Seek Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and then listen, observe, and ponder.
21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth:
The Word Becomes Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”