Walking Out Freedom

I had a very humbling experience on Sunday.  During the time of worship while I sang adoration to my God; I was also meditating on the teaching I was about to get on stage to give, as I usually do. The teaching centered on Galatians 1:10 which says,

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Just then, in the midst of my thoughts, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance a time when I corrected someone because I thought they were being critical; but honestly, it was mainly because I was concerned with what others would think when they read what this individual wrote. I immediately knew I needed to ask them for forgiveness. Whether they needed it or not, I needed it. I had to do it to be obedient; I also knew that this was a step I must take to continue to obtain the freedom I so desire from being a people-pleaser. As soon as I got home I wrote an email to this individual asking for their forgiveness and explaining the best that I could my error in being so concerned with what people might think. I also must point out that I needed to do this regardless of whether the other person was wrong or not in anything they may have done. I had to do as much as depends on me.  I hit send. I felt relieved and accomplished.

Later, I found myself checking my inbox to see if they replied. “I wonder how they took it,” I thought. In that moment I realized part of my motivation for wanting to see a reply was flawed.  Sure, I wanted to find out if they forgave me. But ultimately I think I wanted to be liked. That is certainly humbling to admit. I must be okay with possibly never receiving a response because in the end, I did what I felt convicted to do. It’s out of my hands and my thoughts do not need to be imprisoned. Part of freedom is walking it out. The Lord breaks off the shackles, but we must continue to refuse to put them back on again.

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. (Psalm 119:45 NLT)