On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington I am reflecting today on what it means to really be free. As I am writing this I am also listening to Donnie Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free”. Like Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, many of us are still aspiring to reach the pinnacle of freedom (mentally, spiritually, physically, etc.). As leaders we are sometimes burdened with the mental pressures of fitting into the boxes people create for us. Our teams have perceptions of how we should act. Our peers have a standard we should measure up to. Our supervisor demands a level of engagement that may not fit our personality/style. Church members voice their opinions of how we should lead them. All of these voices fill our head and begin to bind us with trying to fulfill unattainable expectations. We silently scream to be loosed from these expectations and experience an attainable freedom.
I am continuing to learn that freedom is a more of a spiritual disposition and state of mind vs. a physical condition. There are people imprisoned (physically) that are actually free. They have chosen to not let the visual perception of their condition and perceptions of others dictate if they are free or not. As leaders we should not be forced to fit into “the box” that is dictated by our society. We should develop the courage to break out of these paradigms that bind us and be free from society’s idiotic “box”.
The following are some points to consider in understanding how to attain freedom:
– Cease trying to always prove yourself (your personality/style, motives, etc.) to others. No matter how hard you try to explain your position, people will continue to have their own opinion of you that you ultimately cannot control.
– Change your mindset from wanting to be liked by others to striving to be fair and objective. People pleasers will always be in mental bondage.
– Learn to be comfortable with yourself; your faults, your disappointments, your strengths, your purpose, etc. There will only be one of you and this society needs your contributions the only way you can do it.
The book of John encourages us that when Christ makes us free we are truly free. There’s no going back to the days of bondage. He can free us from mental bondage that has been placed on us by others. He can even free us from ourselves; the pressures we place on ourselves. As believers we should not wonder when this freedom will come. It is here for the taking! Once we take hold to the freedom Christ gave us we should be singing to the rooftops “Free at last; free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m free at last”!
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