How we first learn something is more important than what we are learning.
No matter what new thing you teach me about Tapioca pudding, it will remind me of a hospital. Awful memories will ensue.
When I was young, I was kicked by one of our horses and I was in the hospital with complications from a broken leg. For some reason, they had a great abundance of Tapioca pudding. For the first few meals, it was okay but the Bible teaches us “all things in moderation”. In order for me to try it again, I need to unlearn some things about my beliefs concerning Tapioca pudding.
Unfortunately, churches are the worst about having their own language. They come up with cool, descriptive names for things that only make sense to the person who frequents that culture, but to the newcomer, it is a foreign language. The word “freedom” may mean different things to different people, in different regions, etc. You get the point.
So what is Freedom? Sometimes in order to learn what something is, we need to first unlearn our bad definitions.
Examples of what Freedom is not.
When I get a better job, then I won’t have to worry about . . . then I will be free.
If my boss would just lighten up, I wouldn’t be so stressed. Then I wouldn’t do. . . then I will be free.
I’ve tried this religion thing before, no matter how hard I tried, here I am again.
If I could just stop doing ____________ , then I will be free.
The main problem with this is our focus. All of what I just mentioned is depending on what I can do. I tried it all. I’ve been to so many rehabs, I lost count. I’ve been locked up several times and did an eight year sentence flat. So, I can say that I have tried so much that I don’t have any try left. Now those things are well in my past but the principles are the same.
Phil 4:13 says that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I am proof that the opposite is also truth. When I try to function outside of Christ, I fail. So when I try to attain freedom through the methods above, I have failed famously.
One of the goals in Freedom ministry is to change our focus. Whatever I focus on, that thing will organize the rest of my life. If I focus on freedom from addiction, then addiction will organize the rest of my life. If I focus on how great something feels, then that feeling will organize the rest of my life. Jesus answers this problem in a very familiar passage that you probably already know. Matthew 6:33 Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. We all give our first attention to something. If I struggle with something, then I will seek first relief from that thing I struggle with. If I change my focus and seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then I am submitting to God, who is greater than the problem I was previously focused on. It is then that the all these things part will come.
Freedom is not the absence of something. Freedom is the presence of someone.
Now if you would excuse me, I’m going to look for some Tapioca pudding.