Posted by: New in Every Way | August 8, 2013

Good Riddance

Getting rid of trashFreedom. Even saying the word feels good. It’s the feeling students have when they leave school at the end of May or beginning of June. It’s in a man’s sigh of relief when he hands his tax return documents to his accountant. It’s the way a woman feels when–after long months of treatment–her doctor gives her a clean bill of health.

Throughout human history, there have been individuals who wanted freedom so badly, they were willing to risk their lives for it. Why is this? Because God programmed us for freedom. Because freedom is part of his nature.

. . . where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).

What is freedom? Being able to do whatever I feel like doing? Well, yes–unless what I feel like doing is going to harm me in some way. Unless what I feel like doing (zoning out in front of the TV) will keep me from making arrangements to go to a concert all my friends are going to. Then I’m not free to do something far more fun.

This zoning-out-in-front-of-the-TV feeling is what the Bible calls “flesh” (think: what feels good to my body right now) or “self” (think: self-indulgence).

Usually, I am only really free when I can–somehow–get over my “self.” I stumbled upon a way to do that when I was a teen. On the morning of a school holiday, my mom announced, “Today you are going to wash all the windows, inside and out.” My spirits hit bottom.

In my family, complaining was not allowed. Maybe just as well, because I learned how to deal constructively with my “I don’t want to.” As I mounted the step stool in front of the first window, an inspiration came to me. Inwardly, I said, “Okay!” in a cheerful sort of way. To my surprise, I no longer felt put-upon. The work didn’t seem to be that hard or to take that long. I had talked myself right into–well, not really wanting to wash windows, but at least not minding the job.

What I had learned to do was “deny” (not give into) my lazy “self” in order to be my cheerfully industrious self.

When the Bible talks about dying to self, it doesn’t mean that our personality, passion, and dreams die. Not at all! It means turning away from the self-centeredness, selfishness, and self-indulgence that keep us from being all we really want to be.

What does your best self look like? What good deed would you do today if you could get motivated? How wonderful could your relationships be if you quit trying to make everyone do things your way? In what awesome ways can you see yourself partnering with God, if you could get past your immaturity and inconsistency?

Christ calls us to freedom from our not-so-good selves. Would you like that? It is good riddance of bad rubbish.

P.S. Click here for more information about this freedom.

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