For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)
It is a pertinent question, why did god give us freedom? Why where we burdened with choice? Hindsight being 20/20 it seems that it was a mistake to allow the human race the choice, the duality. However Paul makes it clear… It was for freedom that we where made free. The context here is religion. Paul is saying that we where set free not so we could go from the highly religious and bound up life to another religious set of dogmas locking us in, but rather to be free.
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (MSG)
Maybe it becomes clearer with the Message, you where set free to live a free life! So make a stand, not just for freedom as a general term but for your personal freedom!
So we need to ask ourselves, what kind of slavery have we submitted our minds, bodies and spirits to?
Freedom of the mind
As we live in the western world and we are so top heavy, freedom has got to start in your mind.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (NRSV)
Paul asks us not to conform to this world, and this is often used in the church against anything that WE don’t like. Whatever does not fit into our narrow idea of holiness and orthodoxy. But actually the text urges us to live in constant renewal discerning not what the church says, not what society says but what the will of god is directing in this very moment.
To access the freedom of the mind we must first break free from slavery, break free from the yoke of religious dogma, break free from the conditioning of cultural and societal norm so that we are truly open to hear the voice of spirit.
Let’s take a moment and contemplate:
The voice of spirit is the voice of love luring us towards the greatest good in each moment. To access this voice we might ask what would love do? What would a person who loves themselves do, what would a person who loves do in this situation.
- What are the ideas, mind constructs that limit your freedom right now?
- What do you believe about the world?
- What do you believe about yourself?
- What do you believe about others?
- What agreements have you made?
Freedom of the body
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 (NRSV)
Sometimes our minds limit our bodily freedom by having us subscribe to ideas that are limiting to our freedom and sometimes the way we limit our body traps our mind, this depending on what intelligence centre we favour.
But as Richard Rohr says:
“You cannot think yourself into a new way of living, you need to live yourself into a new way of thinking.”
We do this by embodying a new way, by being in our bodies (rather than living in our minds) and offering up our bodies as vehicles of gods grace in the world. Your body is a temple of the divine. Your body houses the divine spirit and is a channel for grace into the manifest world.
So how free can you be with your body, how can you embody and live out the new story of freedom and love in the world.
Do you dare to dance freely and wildly, like David? Can you be generous and share love through your body with others. Do we dare to include our bodies as our way of being generous and hospitable in this world
Nancy Wilson and Kathy Rudy have “queered” the Sodom narrative by placing hospitality at the center of queer theological reflection. For example, Wilson has constructed a “queer theology of sexuality” by focusing on the gift of “promiscuous” or “bodily hospitality” that many LGBT people have.23 Rudy, an openly lesbian ethicist at Duke University, has suggested that nonmonogamous sex acts—including anonymous and communal sex—can be viewed in terms of a progressive ethic of hospitality. (Patrick S. Cheng, Radical Love)
In what ways do you limit your bodily freedom in the world?
- Do you allow yourself to dance?
- Are you ok with looking silly?
- Do you love your body?
- Do you give hugs freely?
- Are you generous with your intimacy?
Freedom of the spirit
If we can free our minds and our bodies then our spirits are free to soar, to flourish and to remember who we truly are, to step into that place of freedom and to have the largest conversation we can possibly have with creation.
In a way all that is needed for the freedom of spirit is to get over ourselves and let our ego step out of the way then our spirit will resume full connection with the divine source and we will remember.
How much of your day is ruled by Ego? How often do you get in the way of freedom by limiting your body expression or by limiting beliefs?
Reclaim your greatness!
it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others. —Marianne Williamson