For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1 ESV
I love it when verses just jump out at me. I feel like I spend a lot of trying to connect with God’s word, but I’m making myself focus, it doesn’t seem to mean anything. And then every once in a while a verse is just like BOOM you need me today.
Lately I’ve been really upset with myself because I can’t seem to be nice to myself in my head. My mind seems to enjoy constantly calling myself an idiot, digging through years of memories to playback all the embarrassing ones, and thinking through all the ways I might mess up the next day. Something I have struggled with the most in clinics is confidence and I have no doubt that my thought life is a major contributor.
I’ve tried multiple ways to fix the problem. There’s no easy fix however. Listening to uplifting, meaningful Christian songs seems to help the most, but changing thought patterns (especially deeply ingrained ones) requires constant work.
The first part of this verse seems kind of redundant at first. Like duh, Christ wouldn’t have set us free so that we could be slaves. Yet isn’t that what we do much of the time? We have been made free – forgiven for all the wrongs we have committed, all the ways we have failed, and loved unconditionally. But we rarely act that way. Even though we have been saved by grace, we still think works will somehow help. Then we fail, and we beat ourselves up, and put ourselves in dungeons of the mind. How differently would we live if we acted like we believed we had been set free to be free?
This is followed by encouragement. “Stand firm, therefore.” You can do this. Christ gave you the strength to resist. When your thought life says you are a mistake and will never amount to anything refute it with the Truth. You are a beloved child of the Most High. You were carefully designed to fulfill a certain role in the world. There are people who would feel lost without you.
And then a warning. “Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ” When you think those thoughts you are returning to your bondage. You are free; don’t choose to be enslaved.
So when you repeatedly beat yourself up, don’t get discouraged. It takes constant energy to re-make our thought life. Find ways to improve it – music, encouraging notes, turning self bullying into prayer, or find someone to talk to. Memorize key truths of scripture detailing who God is and who you are in Him.
Live like your loved. Because you most definitely are.