This week we celebrate the 4th of July and our freedom as Americans. But I wonder at times, are we really living free? So often we’re held captive by guilt, shame, or unforgiveness. As a result, we walk around as though we were bound by chains.
Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). We become burdened again by the yoke of slavery when…
We don’t forgive others but hold on to offense as though it’s our right…
We live in a constant state of feeling shame over past sins…
We worry obsessively about what others think.
We are living in a culture where mental illness is on the rise. Anxiety, fear, depression, and loneliness are all tormenting our society. Author David Seamands wrote, “I am convinced that the basic cause of some of the most disturbing emotional/spiritual problems which trouble evangelical Christians is the failure to receive and live out of God’s unconditional grace.” Ah, there it is.
The failure to receive and internalize God’s grace is costing us our emotional sanity.
So how do we internalize God’s grace on a practical level?
3 Practical Tips to Enjoy Freedom
Begin with a Declaration. Grace says, “I am fully known, loved, forgiven, empowered, and pursued by God.” (1) As you remind yourself often of this and praise God daily for this truth, gradually the Holy Spirit will strengthen your faith to believe it. God knows everything about you, yet, He loves and forgives you unconditionally. Learn to remind yourself of that truth every day. Stand in the freedom that Christ offers you.
Be Ruthless with Yourself as Far as Extending Forgiveness. We are sensitive people. It’s so easy to take offense. However, every time we take offense, we bite at Satan’s bait. Jesus has called us to be a channel of ever-flowing forgiveness. When teaching His disciples to pray, He taught them to say, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Did you catch that word, “as”? Ah yes, that’s where the rub comes. Essentially we are to pray, Lord, forgive me in the same way I am extending forgiveness to others. Ouch! Most of us can’t pray that authentically. So, we have to ask the Holy Spirit to continually tenderize our hearts and to allow us to be a conduit of forgiveness to others.
Become Obsessed with Jesus. If you’re having trouble internalizing God’s grace, take the remaining months of summer and just read through the gospels. Notice how many times Jesus offers grace…
To the woman at the well – John 4:1-26
To the woman caught in adultery – John 8:1-11
To the man who was paralyzed – Luke 19:1-10
To Zacchaeus who had robbed people – Mark 2:2-11
To Peter who denied Him three times – John 21:15-19
And, those are just a few instances. Jesus’ entire life was marked by offering grace. Friend, this 4th of July, beyond our celebrations as a country, remind yourself personally of the grace Jesus offers you.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the grace You continually offer me. I praise You that I am fully known, loved, forgiven, empowered, and pursued by You. Help me to stand in the freedom that is mine in Christ.
If you need to do a deeper dive into grace, order your copy of Freedom from Performing.
And by all means, if you haven’t already, order Our Father.
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast join us for the encore interview of Dr. Saundra Dalton. We’re talking about rest and how to get some!
Finally, I am booking speaking engagements for 2024. I’d love to speak at your event. Contact me at email@example.com for more information!
(1) Becky Harling, Freedom From Performing, (Colorado springs, CO: Navpress, 2011), 18