Powerful others will try to make me conform and live up to their expectations. I may have to run the risk of being defiant, of standing up to, and of going against powerful others. I am called to stand on my own 2 feet and to develop the ability to say yes or no in making decisions for the emergence of my life. To be seduced from following my path is to be controlled by others, to become a people pleaser, and to be ruled by the tyrannical demands of others. Failure to stand up to others and to assume responsibility for the direction of my life and the promotion of love and light of God’s design for me should engender healthy guilt.–Vincent Bilotta III
An Independence Day reflection on true freedom:
I have been shackled, by the tyranny of sin,
both outward behaviors, and thoughts within.
A slave to my passions, which demanded my soul,
I said “yes” to them; death took its toll.
I felt utterly hopeless, as though choice were a fiction,
The accuser ever whispering, curse and malediction.
But one came along, O’ radiant Light,
his love pierced the darkness, shining so bright.
He silenced the devil and unlocked my chains
released from my prison, no penalty remains.
He looked in my eyes, with love on his face,
“I saved you not by your works, but by my grace.
Now I invite you to come, walk along with me
and never forget, my blood set you free.”
I keep coming back to the questions, “What is freedom?” and “Do I live free?”
I am free.
I am free to tell people how much I value them.
I am free to speak out against injustice.
I am free to give lavishly.
I am free to err on the side of grace.
I am free from needing to demand my rights
or simply from the need to be right.
I am free to serve.
I am free from the need to identify ways in which I am better than others.
I am free from the pressure to perform.
I am free to be goofy.
I am free to like musicals more than football
or painting more than hunting.
I am free to rest.
I am free to take off my mask.
I am free to read from The Message.
I am free to sing at the top of my lungs in the shower
even Air Supply.
I am free to cross the party line.
I am free to drink a cup of coffee
I am free to not know something.
I am free to be curious and creative
I am free to be emotional
I am free to call it like I see it.
I am free to disagree.
I am free to cry at TV shows
even “Anne with an E.”
I am free to color outside the lines.
I am free to hold hands with my kids.
I am free to say no.
I am free to do what I want to do.
I am free.
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.-Galatians 5:1, The Message