Celebrating Christmas All Year

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…” (Eph 4:22-24)

The holidays are over, and I’ve taken down all the Christmas decorations and put them away for safekeeping until next year. Each year, this ritual leaves me feeling a little sad, but also a little energized. There’s just something about the joy of the Christmas season that makes me want to leave things out as long as possible, but as much as I enjoy the decorations, I want my house back in order even more. Continue reading “Celebrating Christmas All Year”

Freedom

This post was originally published on July 4, 2011.

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.’” (2 Peter 2:19)

Freedom is a term that’s tossed around a lot this time of year as we celebrate Independence Day in the United States. But what does true freedom mean? Does it mean that we’re free to do whatever we want, no matter the cost to others?

Society would have us believe that’s true, but true freedom means stripping ourselves of our pride and selfishness. When we believe in Christ, our sins are forgiven, but that doesn’t mean that we’re allowed to do anything we want.

There is a great responsibility that comes along with this freedom. As believers, we’re required to live our lives in such a way that those around us can see Christ’s love through us. However, when we focus on ourselves, we put our own selfish desires first, thinking that we’ll simply ask for forgiveness later.

When we realize that true freedom doesn’t give us the right to demand anything from God, we can turn to God and ask him for forgiveness. When our focus is turned inward, we can’t help those around us because we’re blinded to their needs. But when we begin to understand that being free means we must change our focus, we will begin to put the needs of others first. We will serve God where he wants us, and we’ll show his love to those around us.

Dear Jesus, thank you for the true freedom that’s found only in you. Help me to change my focus from me-centered to others-centered so that those around me can see your presence in my life. Amen.