I never realized I was in bondage until I started breaking free.
When I heard this quote it immediately resonated with me. I have been a Christian my whole life, so I grew up knowing that we had freedom through Christ. I knew I was forgiven and Jesus loved me; so, I was free… right?
Let me share a little bit of my story with you.
I have a very strong adventurous personality. Growing up, I was always the first one to volunteer for anything, and I was constantly driving my mom crazy with all my social engagements. But when I got to college, I started to let my fears that I would fail, that my friends only tolerated me, and God only loved me as long as I didn’t mess up, take over my thoughts. These unhealthy fears led to a lot of anxiety in my life. I was constantly worried that my performance in school wouldn’t be good enough. I tried to please all my friends all the time. And the crazy part is, I had no idea I was letting fear control my life.
The root of fear is very powerful, but it can often be hard to detect. Sometimes it becomes such a part of our normal life that we don’t even notice it.
For me, my root of fear manifested as anxiety and people pleasing. For others, fear can be the root of addiction, depression, or perfectionism. Whenever we are operating out of a root of fear it creates a lack of peace and joy in our lives. Ultimately, when we are bound by fear, we can’t live in freedom.
But here is the rest of my story. Through the Lord’s mercy and truth-speaking friends and family, I was able to learn that,
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV). I began to learn, and I am still learning what life looks like when I choose to walk in Christ’s freedom, instead of my own fears. Because the enemy wants to use fear to steal our strengths, but God’s heart for us is to walk daily in His freedom.
So this week, begin to ask God, “Lord, reveal to me where there are roots of fear in my life,” and then ask, “What could life look like when I replace my fear with freedom?”
For more resources on fear, listen to the MercyTalk Podcast series Overcoming Fear.