It’s a word that speaks to the heart of every man or woman, for aren’t we all in bondage to something or another? Galatians 5:1 states: ‘It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.’ Initially, we are set free for freedom to run straight into the arms of God. However, it’s the day to day living that brings us back into bondage. Because, yes, I have been set free. I am free in Christ. I am a new creation. But I choose whether I am going to stay in that place. I choose whether I am going to believe that I really, truly am a new creation.
One is given to us by a scandal of grace and the other is given to us by the scandal of our shame.
There is a cycle of shame in our bondage. We long to be free and we believe we are free, but habits are habits and trenches are trenches and ruts are deep and long held patterns of thought keep us from fully, habitually entering the freedom of Christ. The shame happens when we scrape and claw and transform our way out of the bondage and just as we reach the crest, we hit a proverbial ‘bump’ in the rut and we fall. We fail. It’s the cycle of shame: Try. Succeed. Fail. Confess. Redemption. Faith. Repeat. A cycle of shame.
What if there was a way into freedom? For good and for always?
What if we explored the different ways we find ourselves in bondage?
Some of those areas are: Addiction. Pride. Fear. Skepticism. Insecurity. Lack of belief. Idols. Religion. Tradition. Opinions. Identity.
I believe freedom begins when we understand brokenness. But wait? I thought we are talking about freedom in Christ? What does brokenness have to do with freedom?
Because brokenness precedes freedom.
You see within the heart of every person lies the innate desire to survive. Humans are hard-wired to survive. There are countless stories of survivors who survived because they were driven by their own will. Everything we experience in this physical life is a reflection of our spiritual life so let’s go back to the beginning.
Because of Adam and Eve, our innate nature is sinful. That is the nature that is driven to survive. So when we accept Christ as our savior, as we surrender our control of our own lives over to him, we accept the reality that our minds, wills, motivations, personalities– which are inherently prone to sin– are still with us. I know I am a new creation, but I also know that every day I have to stand firm so I don’t fall back into the bondage of slavery to selfishness and pride.
So begins the journey into freedom. It starts with surrender. It travels through brokenness and ends with freedom.
Brokenness is not something most of us run towards. If anything I am driven to avoid brokenness. Brokenness denotes failure. It identifies me as ‘less than’. Brokenness is the antithesis to this culture of the ‘pursuit of happiness’ and the American dream. What if, what if the way to our dream takes us through a broken place? Would we chase after it?
This life—this God-life—is found through the cross and what did the cross do to Jesus? It broke him. Reconciliation with the God of the ages, the God of creation, the God who chases me and loves me more than I can imagine, can only be found through the broken, yet resurrected body and life of Jesus Christ.
It’s a good thing.
It’s a God thing.
I would love to share my story to freedom through brokenness in hopes that you, friends, will see your brokenness in a different light. That you will see it through freedom’s light and that you may run free straight into the arms of my Faithful God.