Most Americans believe freedom is the pre-eminent virtue. But what is the use of religious and political freedom when we enslave ourselves by the way we live? True freedom, as Dr. John Piper writes, is the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will leave you with no regrets forever. Here are 10 ways to be truly free.
1. Personal Debt
This is an outstanding place to start given our current national status concerning debt. That, of course, translates to ever-increasing personal debt as well. Nearly nothing can make a man feel more imprisoned than the shackles of debt. It limits every possibility in life. Develop a plan immediately to reduce debt and increase financial freedom.
2. Forgive The Past
Everyone is haunted by experiences and events from the past. Not a single soul escapes this life without some sort of trauma that leaves deep wounds and scars. The necessity is to find a way to reconcile with the past in order to grow ever-stronger and wiser. That is a key challenge in achieving a successful life.
3. Defeat Addiction
As material life evolves, so does the list of addictive vices and habits that trap and enslave us.As material life evolves, so does the list of addictive vices and habits that trap and enslave us. Substance abuse is as rampant as it has ever been. But addiction is not limited to the obvious. Within a ten foot radius of anywhere you are reading this, there are no doubt numerous addictive possibilities staring at you. Think about it. It’s so easy to get enslaved.
4. Destructive Relationships
The importance of the people that we choose to surround ourselves with can’t be understated. They can either lift us to new and better heights, or drag us down to the depths of where they reside. As parents, it is imperative that we not only recognize this in our own lives, but instill this wisdom in our children as well.
5. The Lure Of Escapism
It is natural to dream of escape. But true freedom means taking the high, narrow, and tough road by doing the right things the right way even when it’s not in your best interest. Freedom comes from doing meaningful things, not mundane, escapist actions.
6. Job Appreciation
Most people spend a majority of their time at their place of employment. This is possibly the situation where we feel the most trapped. Work is a requirement to survive and there is no getting around that. But if you don’t have overall satisfaction in what you do on a daily basis, you will never be free. Have the courage to change careers if that is what you feel called to do.
7. Passionless Marriage
This is a common issue for many marriages. The amazing spark that bonded you together dims or extinguishes altogether. This is something that can linger on the male mind constantly and enslave you. Free yourself from that worry. There are many marriage resources to tap to help you do so. And if need be, seek out professional help. Ignite that spark once more and never let it go out.
8. Mental Distress
We are a sad nation. A study released in 2011 by our government states that more than one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 takes anti-depressants. This is a jump of over 400% in just two decades. As we have perceived our personal freedoms to be enhanced by technology and prosperity, in reality, they have enslaved many to the point of despair. The biggest question we can answer in life is what steps do I need to take to be more joyful? Acting through that filter leads to freedom.
9. Stressful Parenting
No parent ever escapes heartache, fear, and worry for their children. But you can still live in freedom. Have confidence that if you pour the right things into your children, they’ll turn out just fine. Confess to them when you have blown it and model for them what love and leadership looks like. All you can do is your best, and leave the rest up to God.
10. Spiritual Quest
Ultimately, our eventual freedom is in our earthly expiration. Our actions here should all be working towards that reality. What legacy will we leave behind, and what will be our next destination? When a person realizes that he/she is far more than just the flesh we can physically see, that is when the possibility of freedom begins. Freedom only makes sense in light of our ultimate resurrection.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife tonight and ask: What do we need to do to be truly free?