We want to be good and do what’s expected of us. And we know the power of self-deception and rightly question the motivations of our heart. At the same time, in our quest to be good, we often deny ourselves the permission to be free and ultimately miss the mark of our maturity.
As kids, we were under the authority of our parents and guardians. And they directed the course of our life – setting the boundaries for what was okay and not okay. At its best, this direction was to help us make wise choices as we grew in maturity. And part of maturity is the freedom to live life to the full.
But often we get stuck – following elementary rules that seem wise, but do nothing to help us grow in the life and freedom Christ came to give us.
And so we must give ourselves permission to break the rules that rob us of our fullness of life with God.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we can do anything we want. But it’s not adopting a pious self-denial either.
Permission to be free starts in part with the assumption of goodness. Rather than assuming all our desires are bad, we remember our hearts have been redeemed. And perhaps our desire to rebel against the status quo is the Spirit calling us to greater freedom and life.
To be sure, wisdom and discernment are needed. And our trusted others can help us discern if our choices are truly producing a fruit of righteousness, or merely self-serving.
But either way, we remain free to listen and explore and discover the many good desires God has placed in our hearts. And we remain immature and impoverished when we don’t practice this freedom.
Christ has set you free. Give yourself permission to live in this freedom as often as necessary. This is the path of maturity and gratitude for all God has done for you.