Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Living Free

At first reading, these scriptures may not seem to belong here, but when we read all the way down the "life in the Spirit".... isn't that what a life free of depression would be?! A life of Joy? A life of Love?! A life of freedom?

Depression is shortsighted, shallow at best. It can only see what is right in front of it, and it recoils in horror. Depression doesn't love- it only wants to escape- to hide- to cry. Depression falters and fears, but a life in God's Spirit is inexplicably bold. It throws caution to the wind and lives with eyes wide open! Freely. Free.

This is the kind of life I want. Not a life that sits at the back of the bus, staring mournfully out the back window and bewailing the places I've been, as well as the places I'll never be. I want to be up front by the Driver, looking through the windshield expectantly! Where to next? What adventure will we find?

And we can do that when we trust that God loves us through it all. When we trust that NO MATTER WHAT HAS HAPPENED, NO MATTER WHAT WE'VE DONE, He hasn't left us! He will never forsake us.

From Galatians 5

19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
22-23But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

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