How ‘Free’ is Free? (Excellence in Living – Part 1)

“We have freedom now, because Christ made us free.” Galatians 5:1

If there’s any place where you should be free to be yourself, it’s at home, right? Well, this is what I’ve always thought. But I think that God, through His Holy Spirit, is opening my eyes to a more excellent way of expressing my freedom. I don’t understand it all just yet, but let me tell you what I’ve gathered so far.

First, let me tell you about the ‘outside of the house’ me. When I’m in public, I do my very best to be kind. I speak positively, practice patience, and smile a lot. The smiling part is pretty easy for me. Some people, I think, are natural smilers, and I’m one of ‘em. It doesn’t take much to bring out my smile… a small child heading my way or someone with a sad or lonely looking face, and before I know it, I’m smiling to try to cheer them up. You’ve probably seen me. I was the lady smiling at you as you crossed the intersection. You probably spent a couple seconds wondering if I was someone you knew. Nope. I was just smiling at you.

Even when I don’t feel very well, I do my best not to take out the pain I’m experiencing on those I meet. When I get frustrated or angry with one of my students, I make a conscious effort to calm down, speak softly, slowly, and deliberately. I try very hard to choose my words with care.  I’m even working hard on exchanging the sarcasm that I used for years, for more honest, open, thoughtful communication.

The ‘public’ me wasn’t always this positive, but a great deal of construction has been going on. God has been working on my thinking, and my thinking has changed my perception. He’s breaking down my strongholds, (philosophies, ideas, theories, and opinions that go against His Word) little by little. I tell you though, being transformed by God’s Word is a lot of work!! (Whew! I need to wipe my brow, just thinking about it!) It’s a good thing that it’s God doing the work and not me.

God is changing the way that I see people and myself. I am reminded daily how valuable and precious we all are. Still, I have a daily battle going on inside. Everyday, I have to fight my old nature, my old way of doing things; my old way of reacting, and my old way of speaking. It’s true that Jesus can take the heart of someone who was known for being mean and change them into a forgiving, caring individual. However, for me, the only way I can consistently be that caring person is to choose to daily surrender my attitude, my heart, and my mind to my Heavenly Father, and allow Him to help me to think better.

It’s the Holy Spirit living inside me who has changed my will, so that I want to  interact in a way that demonstrates God’s love. I want to be encouraging. I want to be cooperative, (all of that good stuff) because I don’t want to hurt my Savior by being rude or unkind. I don’t want to hurt someone else because I didn’t use caution.

However, since I’m a very opinionated person, there are many times when I am keeping my opinions to myself that my old nature’s screaming inside my head to express itself. All the while, the Holy Spirit is speaking to me inwardly, “SHHhhhhh, it’s okay, calm down, breathe deeply.” More often than I would like to admit, He still has to tell me, “Be quiet. Don’t dip. it’s not your business.”  Believe it or not, I’m actually learning to listen to Him, sit quietly, and keep my ‘big mouth’ closed.

At home, though, it’s a different story entirely. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow! Until then, may you remember the construction zone signs that God has placed around you. You may be striving for perfection and falling short. God isn’t finished with you yet. Be encouraged!! He is more than able to complete the work He has begun in you.

So relax and…

Enjoy the journey!

 

Question for today: “What are you battling?”

Scriptures that pertain to today’s post:

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

James 1:4-5 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

John 5:17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Philippians 1:16 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

© 2009 God’s Perspective Publishing

This post has been republished from the archives in case you missed it the first time around.

You don’t want to miss the next part of this post. It may remind you of someone you know.

About Administrator

I'm more than half of a century old! That sounds 'cooler' than saying I'm in my fifties! LOL My husband and I have been married for thirty plus years and have a son, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. I'm surrounded by a loving Christian family: mom, dad, sister, brother and their families. I love to garden, draw, paint, read, sing, compose, and work with young people. On the other hand, I also love to spend time around the 'young at heart.' I love to have fun and to laugh. I try to make the most of each day and enjoy it in God's presence. I love performing random acts of kindness to brighten someone's day! I'm learning how to be at peace with the unique person I am and to appreciate the way that God has made me. Hey! It's all a part of the journey!
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