Thursday, October 6, 2016

Planning Freedom or Living IN Freedom

As I work through the process of 're-entry' [yes, this is still something I am in the process of...it takes longer than you want, think or imagine]...different aspects of American Life stand out to me in a different light.

As of late, I am keenly aware of the pursuit of planning and perfection. Between workout programs, healthy eating philosophies, Pinterest, blogs and a myriad of other sources...there are a million ways to feel inadequate and enslaved by 'the right way to live'.

From my perspective of having re-arrived in American culture, it seems that we, as believers in Christ, may have lost sight of the freedom that we have in Christ. Let me try to describe what I mean {and this might be super random and all over the place...just warnin' you.}

There seems to be COUNTLESS rules to 'living right'. Rules prescribed by good people with good intentions...but with potentially 'not good' effects. Pinterest has seemingly endless suggestions on how to decorate, cook, raise kids, dress, organize life, etc. Blogs (yes, I suppose I am guilty of this simply by having a blog) have all sorts of opinions and ideas on 'Christian life' and godly living. Let's not even get started on all the articles about parenting! The thing is...these suggestions, opinions and ideas start to feel a LOT more like 'must-do's', 'should-do's, or worse-- 'rules.' From where I am standing, these rules look like they are enslaving us, as believers, rather than affording us the freedom we have to live an abundant life in Christ.

I find myself spending MORE time reading about and planning how to live that abundant life than actually living that life. What I find is that all the rules of how to live a godly and healthy life are the very things that get in the way of living an abundant life.

Galatians 5:1 says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

I can so easily be burdened with the yoke of 'what I should do' according to the culture of Pinterest, blogs, articles, social media. There are so many 'good' things that have enslaved me. There are so many yokes that I have carried: pursuit of perfection, guilt over the should-do's but didn'ts, and the yoke of over-planning.  How easy it is to get trapped by the 'shoulds' and the plans rather than seeking God, His Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit and His promptings on how to live in the freedom of Christ. I want to live in freedom--freedom that allows me to enjoy life and enjoy God rather than being enslaved by the plans to enjoy life.