Freedom in Christ
By Dawn Ford
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have ...’” Hebrews 13:5a
I was a twenty-something, new Christian struggling to make ends meet. I saw other people driving new cars, going on vacations, buying big houses. I wondered how they did it. It didn’t matter how hard I tried to get ahead, it felt like everyone else was doing better than me.
Shame, regret, and unworthiness flooded my soul.
Every time I measured myself by others, I ended up wanting. So I stopped. I started to pray thanks over what I had, not what I wanted or believed I deserved. I became more thankful for my belongings, I didn’t begrudge others theirs, and the negative emotions diminished until they were gone. In the midst of thanks, I realized only Christ could give me what I needed; His blessings were imperishable riches, unlike the other things I’d desired. This shift produced true, lasting freedom.
Years later at a women’s conference, I sat surrounded by those expressing the same things I felt as a young Christian. Compared to others, they decided they’d failed as wives, mothers, and women. My heart broke for them. I believe God’s did also. They were judging themselves by subjective standards, focusing on all they didn’t have, instead of being thankful for what they did have.
I reminded them that the world’s standards shift and change, but God’s never does. God’s love for us is unmoving and complete. It was revealed secure through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. And Hebrews 13:8 promises that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and always. Freedom from comparison and the negative feelings it produces is ours in Christ. Embrace it.
Dawn Ford is a wife, mother, writer, and contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ Devotional project. She has served in her church’s outreach and women’s ministries. She believes in living an authentic Christian life and helping other women live their best life. John 10:10 Dawn is an award-winning young adult and fantasy fiction author. Her debut novel, Knee-high Lies, reflects her personal struggle as a teenager to break away from the lies she hid behind. Visit Dawn’s website to find out more about her and her writing.
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Originally published Sunday, 23 December 2018.