John 8:32 tells us, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Many of us are familiar with that verse. I know I have read it many times. Jesus was specifically addressing a group of Jews that had just put their faith in Him.
They had just witnessed Jesus address the double standard several Pharisee’s held in their condemnation of a woman caught in adultery. Jesus addressed these Jews, and Pharisee’s, directly and although the Jews didn’t’ fully understand everything He was saying – some of them understood enough to put their faith in Him.
It was to these believing Jews that Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
From both my own personal story as well as working with broken believers for 10 years, I am convinced that many professing Christians are walking around totally disconnected from feeling truly free.
Many of us put on a nice front – but deep down – many of us are enslaved by 4 specific fears: the fear of failure; the fear of rejection; the fear of punishment; and the fear of change.
And instead of walking through life making decisions based on the truth of who Jesus is and who we are because of Him, we instead make emotional decisions based out of one or more of these 4 fears. And much like Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes, when we chase our identity outside of God’s truth about Him and us, we end up chasing the wind…always grasping at the effects but never embracing the root truth.
For most of my life I have struggled with 2 of these fears specifically: the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. And the battle with these false beliefs existed despite me trusting Christ almost 30 years ago. (While salvation is our most important spiritual need – if it fixed everything about us automatically there would be no need for discipleship.)
See as a believer in Christ – we already have the necessary tools and truth to escape these lies. However it often it takes more than just a simple platitude or Bible verse to break free from their grasp. It involves a process. And this process requires several things: surrender, acknowledgement, honesty, confession, forgiveness, boundaries, and many more.
At the end of the day the only way to break free from these enslaving perspectives and false beliefs is to fully understand the true character of God and who we are because of what He did for us. And understanding this is part of sanctification – being set apart or made into the image of Jesus Christ. (Many of us walk around with a view of God based out of what we have been told or out of prior experiences with our parental figure. However this often doesn’t completely line up with Scripture.)
My self worth is not equal to my performance or what others think about me. No, my self worth is based on the fact that when God sees me He chooses to not see my sin, but instead sees His Son – Jesus Christ. Who, as a believer, I am in the process of being made to be like.
God’s commitment is to my person and not my performance. However understanding the truth about my person will directly affect my performance.
I don’t have to chase the wind because I can rest in the truth and safety of the One who controls it.