Some Freedoms Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be!

© Wanda J. Murry, September 18, 2020

I have two new young adults in my immediate life – grandchildren who have hit that second magical age range of 18-20 years old (the first magical age being 13 years old and I have a granddaughter reaching this stage next month). They came out the high school gate chomping at the bits to break loose and run free. I’m watching them with a sense of excitement and joy for what they will discover about themselves, others, and this world. But, I’m also praying and inwardly fearful about some of the hard truths they will learn about how life isn’t always fair, all people aren’t inherently good, and how their free will has consequences that could set up strongholds in their lives not easily shaken.

I have one of each: a male and a female. With both, their parents and I have shared some of our experiences, failures, and triumphs. Their parents and I have warned them against making the mistakes we did in our youth to avoid the struggles we endured, some with lingering effects. They both listen, but their right to freely choose has clouded their decision in some instances. However, we are grateful there have been no mistakes thus far that has caused significant detours in their lives. Though, they both have come close to the edge of falling into a disaster or two.

I remember my time in the 18-20-year-old range. There was so much beckoning me to draw near. I got real close to some things and dabbled in a handful too many. As I look back, I know my mother’s prayers, coupled with God’s abundant grace, kept me from consequences that would have been earth-shattering for my mom, me, and my future. My curiosity and naiveté took me down some roads better left untraveled. At the same time, though, what I experienced gives me the credibility to explain to my grandchildren why they should avoid some things.

I’ve been listening to Tony Evan’s podcasts on American Idols this week, and it’s been food for thought. It got me to thinking how some of the freedoms we have as individuals here in America aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when we stop and dissect a few of those freedoms. Yes, the American dream offers a freedom that, in some ways, have led us into freely and openly indulging into things GOD clearly warned us to avoid as He laid out the laws and precepts to the Nation of Israel. The Old Testament is full of events that give a good picture of the physical consequences (i.e., bondage, enslavement, loss of GOD’s protection and provision, etc.) of doing things right in our own eyes. For example, in Deuteronomy:

  • 5:7 says – “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”  We have given GOD’s position as our authority to other gods [people, astrology, mysticism, WICCA, Atheism, earth-centered or nature worship, to name a few]. Transparency here: in my carnal, baby Christian days, my husband was my god.
  • 5:13-14a says – “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:” I’m talking about reserving your day of worship to worship, commune, and meditate on the things of God. We are workaholics. I wonder how many who don’t have jobs that require Sunday hours leave service to rush off to work and labor because they either rested on Saturday or didn’t finish the task(s) they started? Transparency here: I struggle sometimes finding the right balance, not on Sunday, but through the other six days of work to get the things I need to get done, done. Part of that is saying “Sorry, but no,” but most of it is a lack of discipline so – I solicit your prayers for more discipline in all areas of my daily life.
  • 6:14 says – “Ye shall not go after other gods… Be honest here — we pursue a lot of things habitually. Careers, relationships, money, materials, etc., as gods in our life. Transparency here: Sadly, one of my pursuits since 1997 has been excessive/emotional eating or what the Bible calls gluttony – I solicit your prayers for my deliverance to enjoy food but not overindulge.
  • 8:5-6 says – “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” This, my friends, could be the biggest struggle for the Believer in Jesus Christ, the Savior, who has done nothing to grow in the knowledge of GOD’s Word. A spanking from God can feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. It makes a person feel like nothing ever works out for them. It can send a person into depression, make a person turn back from following GOD, and even cause a person to harbor all the things in their heart that Galatians 5:19-21 says we shouldn’t, thereby, grieving the Holy Ghost. Transparency here: I never liked spankings and got few in my childhood. However, as I came to understand my consequences were part of my Father’s chastisement, I began to understand as an adult that I didn’t like nor want them, and that’s when a lot of things changed for me in my walk with Christ.

This is why some freedoms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! Where our freedom isn’t a get out of jail free card from parental, governmental, or GOD’s authority and rules. Where my grandchildren and other babes in Christ get stuck and wrestle to understand why they can’t have or do whatever they want when they want, and how they want. It’s why they don’t understand they need to read the bible, listen to wise counsel, apply the knowledge, and do the right thing even when everyone else around them is doing the world thing.

Some freedoms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and never have been outside of the authority that God set in place so very long ago. Even when that authority has been corrupted, polluted, and misapplied, there is a need to examine what any freedom will cost you.

Our greatest teacher is what God put in His Word:

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Judges 17:6 (KJV)

Additional Scriptures: 

  • Judges 21:25
  • Psalm 36:2
  • Proverbs 12:15
  • Proverbs 16:2
  • Proverbs 21:2

Trust me, my freedoms haven’t always benefited me. Have yours?

Contradictions?

Pass or Fail, it’s all part of the sanctification process

In preparing for work this morning, I thought these random thoughts worthy of sharing:

  • If I tell you to have faith but I walk by sightcontradiction
  • If I talk about victory and but live defeatedcontradiction
  • If I say trust God but seek Man as my source … contradiction
  • If I sing praises unto God but am ungratefulcontradiction
  • If they need Jesus but I never share the gospelcontradiction
  • If I cry woe is me but never seek the Comfortercontradiction
  • If I write about joy but my attitude is wretchedcontradiction
  • If Christ is head of my life but my flesh reignscontradiction
  • If I love Jesus but hate any person for any reason … contradiction
  • If I have a church home but seldom attend & supportcontradiction
  • If God’s Word is true but I agree with the world’s viewcontradiction
  • If I’m God’s child but He has no authority in my lifecontradiction
  • If I judge people’s sin and believe I’m righteouscontradiction
  • If I’m always giving advice but won’t take correctioncontradiction
  • If I post this in all humility as my random thoughts on today and someone takes it personal and is offendedit’s a

013019-contradictioninsert

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road: Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]

Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, January 30, 2019

The Beauty of Balance

Life viewed from the right angle is its own beautiful landscape…

It has taken a few weeks, but I am getting settled in my new home. The feelings of fatigue, anger, frustration and fear are all but gone. I had been in a head space that opposed my mental and spiritual well-being. My life seemed a dysfunctional hot mess. Mostly, I lacked the balances and boundaries needed to feel peace within and without. Regaining my equilibrium meant taking steps from my mental checklist:

  • Make a home. It needed to be more than a place I occupied and filled with stuff; it had to embody my personality, my vision, my décor.
  • Get revived. I had to make quality alone time with ABBA to once again enjoy the relational intimacy I craved as his daughter.
  • Restore leisure. Enjoyable things that had fallen by the wayside like writing, reading, music, movies and bubble baths, were once again gaining their place in my life again.

Sometimes it’s easy to get off track in life with all the distractions this world has to offer. Distractions make it easy to forget how to enjoy the beauty of living. For me, this means taking time to enjoy my hermitic side without guilt; to step back from life’s crowding demands and just be; and, to get the rest I need to avoid feeling like a mindless, murderous zombie.

Sleeping under the stars from the vantage point I now have makes for sweet slumber and tranquil living. Though not as beautiful a view as the Norway image used for today’s blog, it will suffice as an anchor for my balancing act.

Whatever it takes for you to gain a balanced life, I surely encourage you to find it and continue your life on a beautiful journey.

Image by Eamon – Blogger at https://waywardwheeler.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/waywardwheeler/.  Used with permission.