This morning one of my sons said something which reminded me that there is a thin line between complaining and telling negative parts of our stories. He indicated that it consisted of this idea: “What are you going to do about it?”
Every year multitudes of people make New Year’s resolutions to change something that they have been doing wrong. They make a choice to do the right thing. Then, a few days or weeks in, they fail and decide to give up.
I’ve discovered that as human beings, we hate to think of ourselves as failures. But I would like to suggest that to fail is human and should not be a reason to give up and not to try again (and again, and again….)
Getting up and trying again is, in itself, a form of success.
Giving up is much more of a failure than each little failure may seem to be.
The writer of Proverbs says it this way:
“For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he still gets up; but the wicked stumble in bad times.” Proverbs 24:16 BSB
Seven here is not a fixed number but represents an indefinite number. Basically, it means that no matter how many times a righteous person may fall, he or she still gets up again. This can be talking about difficult circumstances or about the efforts we make at doing good.
I was talking with another person over the Fourth of July weekend. This person, who does not believe in God, said in an authoritative voice that “freedom does not exist”. While I realize that he may be speaking in societal terms, the Bible tells us that we have freedom to choose right and wrong, and we can have a different kind of freedom, as well.
- Firstly, God has given everyone the freedom to believe in Him or to reject Him through our unbelief.
- Secondly, when we do believe Him and turn toward Him, He frees us from our sinful passions so that we can never again truthfully be able to say, “I just can’t stop doing that.”
With Christ Jesus in your life, yes you can.
Consider what God says about this in the Bible:
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
John 8:36 NKJV
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NLT
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
“For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 BSB
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].” 2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP
In Christ Jesus we are free to say “no” to our sinful passions of all sorts, not just to overeating or failing to exercise (the most common New Year’s resolutions).
We can say no
- to gossip,
- to jealousy,
- to hatred,
- to unforgiveness,
- to fear,
- to unbelief,
- to prayerlessness,
- and to a host of other flaws that invade our thoughts or distract us from putting God first on any given day.
In Christ we are free to say “yes” to Him; we are free to do what is right!
- We are free to be kind and loving,
- free to believe that God has wonderfully made us so there’s no need for comparison and jealousy,
- free to keep our mouth shut or to say positive words,
- free to let go of the bitterness that’s eating us alive inside,
- free to pray and put God first.
Today I’m thankful that in Christ Jesus I have freedom.
I’m thankful that I have had the privilege of knowing people who live that life of freedom.
I’m thankful that they chose to love me when I was not so lovable.
I’m thankful that I am free to choose God and to do the right thing.
I’m thankful that I am free to love others.
I’m thankful that no matter what society around us says to the contrary,
in Christ Jesus, I am free,
free to serve others,
free to love my enemies,
free to do good to those who weren’t good to me first,
free to dwell in an inner peace and joy that does not come from outer circumstances.
Today I’m thankful that Jesus has made me free indeed!
What about you? Have you fallen into the trap of negativity and hopelessness that is being propagated all around us? Have you come to the conclusion that there is no freedom left? Have you lost sight of the truths of God? Have you perceived what you hear from the world or the culture to be the only reality?
God is real, more real than anything that we can see, hear, or feel. Won’t you take seriously the freedom He has given you to choose to believe Him today?