Liberty comes from the Latin word libertas, which means “unbounded, unrestricted or released from constraint.”
Many of us are seeking to be released from problems such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. Others are seeking resolution from dysfunctional relationships in marriage or families. As we seek freedom from these painful events or situations, we need to continue to reflect on the importance of seeking help with an open heart. In times of struggle, there will always be an opportunity to experience the powerful peace that the Lord can bring into our lives.
Where do we need to discover emotional peace?
Feelings like depression, anxiety or even addictive cravings can be signals that point to unresolved problems. Current or past situations are often connected to troubling feelings. Past situations can bring painful memories. Consequences from past choices trigger regret. Anticipation of the future may bring fear, as we consider challenges or possible controversy ahead.
What are the 5 key regrets or mistakes in the past that bind you in painful memories?
What are 5 problems in the future that consistently trigger significant concern, worry, or anxiety?
If I could miraculously remove the past regrets in my life, or forget about the future worries listed above, how would my life be different?
To accept liberty is to be unencumbered
A core step in seeking help is to acknowledge that things have gone wrong. It is more important to admit when we are wrong than trying to prove when we are right. When we accept this reality (of personal brokenness) about ourselves and others, we are ready to be set free, to be liberated, and to experience genuine change.
Christian liberty is when we acknowledge and accept the possibility of being released from the penalty of wrong doing. Many of us seeking help have experienced events that we regret. With an open heart we may admit that we have made errors and poor decisions. We may hold key resentments regarding pain others have caused us through their mistakes and transgressions.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
Often, we want to avoid the pain of acknowledging past mistakes or how others have acted against us in unjust ways. Even to suggest that someone has done wrong or “sinned” seems judgmental or archaic. However, when we consider the reality of past hurts and future fears we gain a sense of the wrong that surrounds us. The key is to acknowledge where we are hurt or have been hurt by others. Ultimately, in these instances, we need to accept the forgiveness and mercy that is available through Jesus Christ to begin healing.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
God offers liberty to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus accepted the punishment, paid the price for sins, and offers new life to those who will accept it. Jesus is the Liberator that wants to release us from past regret and fear of the future. He also seeks to release those who we may not want to forgive. With this liberty, this grace, He offers transformation from the heart outward. Jesus’ forgiveness and grace has the power to change every situation. If we can accept His grace, we can gain the love and hope that unlocks us from anger and the trap of being stuck in unforgiveness.
What areas of your life has forgiveness been difficult to accept?
Who are the people in your life that you struggle to forgive?
What consequences have you experienced from being stuck in unforgiveness?
Key Action Step
Accept God’s sufficient grace. Jesus paid the price for all sin. He is the Son of God, He is the Savior and is faithful to liberate all who seek His forgiveness!