So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
The turn of the calendar year can often bring new hopes and aspirations. But as it sometimes happens, the novelty of those goals wears off and the drive to achieve them diminishes. The “Parable of the Sower” in Matthew 13 describes how our spiritual well-being can meet a similar fate as those New Year’s resolutions. We may start off with such strong resolve, but then “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew 13:22) can creep in and distract us.
With the daily challenges posed by careers, relationships, finances, health issues, etc., it can be overwhelming to try to live a Christ-honouring life. We may also be struggling with addictions or habitual sins of various sorts that further complicate our Christian faith. Instead of experiencing a life of freedom as referenced in John 8:36, we may be feeling shackled and defeated both spiritually and according to worldly standards.
When I find myself feeling like that, I can only reclaim the freedom that I have in Christ once I conduct a truthful self-assessment. Matthew 6:24 states that we cannot serve two masters. If God has not been my first focus, then I need to confess that before God and ask for His forgiveness. In doing so and in order to avoid a downward spiral of shame/anxiety/depression, it is important for me to remember God’s grace and love. I meditate on passages such as Luke 15 about the prodigal son and recall the father’s amazing love for his child. I also often find it helpful and encouraging to discuss my situation with my wife, Care Group, or Men’s Fraternity members. Going through these steps help me to regain a proper perspective on life’s challenges and enable me to claim back the freedom that God has provided me.
Let us claim our freedom by:
- Praising God for having the only and final say of who you are.
- Asking God to help you conduct a self-assessment to determine areas in your life that need His forgiveness and correction.