Many want to know how to break free from ordinary lives, others just want to break free from they don’t know what!
Have you noticed how some people express how free they are, and yet they dress all the same and are bound to the group’s look?
Rockers, Skin Heads and Punks, to name just a few, rebel and they look the same by conforming to the group’s dress code.
1. We are all under pressure to conform to what others think
At times the younger generation feel restricted by their parent’s generation, the government, or by their teachers.
So, some throw off restraints and end up conforming and being very self-centred.
But it is not just the younger ones that conform.
Even in suburbia, or any housing estate we are pushed to conform.
We are under pressure to not look old-fashioned, or give an impression that we are struggling or failing.
‘Keeping up with the Joneses is not just a funny idiom.
It is a reality that many are tempted to get on this treadmill.
Keeping up with the Joneses means ‘to show that one is as good as other people by getting what they have and doing what they do.’ 1
When we buy a car, does it ever go through our minds what our neighbours or friends will think of our choice?
Is our garden or interior decor or our clothes totally our choice or were we steered by other forces?
Do we have to keep up with the latest fashion?
What about seeing the latest fashion and then thinking ‘Is this really me, or am I just following fashion to conform to the crowd?’
2. Break free from what?
Many want to break free from their house, family, or their marriage partner, or illness.
Many want to break free from the boring routine of employment, but there are alternatives.
One is starting a new business, but if the goal is to work less, we will probably find ourselves working twice as hard!
Another alternative is to marry someone who is rich, but that can bring us into a loveless marriage.
Or winning the Lottery which is fun to start with but a million pounds does not last long when all restraint goes and then comes a feeling of dissatisfaction.
So we may ask, ‘How to break free?’ but break free from what?
The word ‘free’ means ‘enjoying personal freedom: not subject to the control or domination of another’. 2
Jesus caused a bit of a stir by saying that he can set people free and he was not talking about breaking free from family, etc.
If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples (follower’s) then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”John 8:31-32 NIV
3. Get free from conforming to evil desires
Jesus said, ‘The Truth will set you free.’
In the context Jesus was talking about, the people immediately thought ‘Set free?’ ‘We’ve never been slaves to anyone!’
And we probably would have said the same!
But Jesus’ answer is very interesting, he said:
“I tell you the Truth. Everyone who sins is a SLAVE to sin.”
They could have thought; ‘Well murderers, perverts, bullies, etc SHOULD feel chained up!’
But Jesus seems to imply that all of his audience was NOT free.
So what is sin?
It’s all those things we should not have done to other people:
Telling lies, cruel thoughts, hurting people, etc.
And it’s all those things that we should have done: A helping hand, sharing things, encouraging rather than criticising, etc.
It’s also when we ignore GOD and go our own way.
As obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ “1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV
So when we live loose sexual lifestyles or tell lies, have cruel thoughts, don’t help people, or ignore God and do what we want in a selfish way, then, WE are a slave to those bad things.
Do we really want to be free?
Not free to please ourselves whilst hurting others, but be free to please God.
4. Be free from being conformed to the world
The apostle Paul taught the Christians in Rome with these words:
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:2 ESV
Paul sees being conformed to this world as a bad thing.
The reason is that the whole world has been invaded by Satan and is held in his grip:
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”1 John 5:19 ESV
But Christians can be victorious in the world by believing in God and His kingdom, and by believing in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.1 John 5:4-5 ESV
And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Remember what Jesus said:
If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples (follower’s) then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”
It is the Truth that sets us free. And the Truth is what Jesus teaches.
Do you want to know the Truth?
Then surrender to Jesus and follow Him.
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Images: thanks to Serif ARTGallery CD