How can we break the chains of others if ours are not broken first?
I once heard a pastor reference that, in all the re-telling of the stories we find in scripture, the disciples are never once found praying for themselves, only for others.
But me, I meditate on the things of myself all the time - I’ve been selfish with my path to freedom, because if we don’t first do that for ourselves, how can we ever know how to help the others that we love. We end up drawing them into more bondage, more weight, if we don’t take care of ourselves. It’s not self-help, it’s self-realization instigated by self awareness: knowing ourselves.
We can be shown our worthiness, we can be shown that we belong, we can be told of the light we carry and the things we are capable of (which is truly all things), but the experience of these is what we need because we are an experience-driven world. The truth can be heard, or it can be experienced. We can hear about it and even re-tell it, but until we’ve lived it, we truly have no idea.
There is no manual for spiritual freedom. But what there is is a grueling, beautiful, stripping away that is required for a rebirth into the supernatural. There is also your choice to let it happen. Have I lost you yet? Stay with me.
Experience is the most powerful anecdote that we have. It paints the picture, provides the emotion, and tells the story in first person. It creates the story. But experience re-told is just a story, albeit a very powerful one. But we don’t crave the story, we crave the experience. So what of the experience of broken chains and freedom? For that experience, your life has to be the re-telling of that story. It requires something greater than words:
The stripping away of judgement, condemnation, and comparison just as you have experienced it for yourself.
The realization that there isn’t right and wrong, but there is the truth of Jesus and what your individual soul, what your self means to the creator of the universe, a realization you have to experience for yourself.
The new knowledge that you are responsible for your own choices - you hold the power to choose and you are your own accountability, so what now are you going to choose? What outcome do you want?
When you have come to know this freedom, intentionality and vulnerability both follow. They become your new unavoidable truths. Truths worth sharing, vital to re-tell.
We first break our chains to break the chains of others. We say yes to freedom for ourselves, stripping away lies, untruths, disbelief, and a less-than-worthy opinion of ourselves to experience the breakthrough. And once we’ve known it, then we can share it. But we have to be willing to know it and keep ourselves open to its depth; depth that draws others in. Freedom wants to be known and to be shared, we just have to stay accountable to it.