You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV)
Free from fear. Free from critique. Free from guilt. Free from all the terrible things I have thought of myself. Growing up, I aspired to being perfect or as close to it as I could get. I had to make all A’s. I spent hours practicing voice. I wanted to be accepted and affirmed by those I esteemed. I planned every outfit down to the last detail. I woke up extra early to fix my hair, and when I got a little older, my makeup, too.
The focus was on my outward person. I feared not doing well, not looking pretty, not making the right decisions, not saying the right thing. I was bound by my nagging thoughts of not being good enough. This should not go without saying: I was surrounded by positive people who encouraged and loved me. However, from a very young age, I developed a fear of not being valued.
It took me a long time in my walk with God to begin to release these fears. I still struggle today, but I now lean on a better understanding of God’s love and purpose for me. I have learned to shift my mindset from unreasonable expectations of myself, and to realize that my identity lies in Christ. I still have my moments of not knowing what to wear or thinking that I had a bad hair day, but I try not to measure my value by the absolute need for perfection in my appearance. I still prepare for presentations, performances, hosting events, but I try not to measure my value on the perceptions and opinions of others.
Ultimately, I have come to realize that when I am absorbed in the fear of not being [fill in the blank], I miss out. I make it so much about me and about not God or others. There is hope in the freedom of God’s love for us. Within this freedom, we can find purpose and fulfill the command to love as God has loved.
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Action Item |
How has your walk with Christ freed you? How are you able to love others through this freedom with Christ?
Dearly Heavenly Father, thank You for the freedom that You have given to us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. May we be ever mindful of Your love and sacrifice. I pray that we may be freed from our insecurities and doubts, that we may be able see ourselves through Your eyes, and that we may be able to better love others. Amen.
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