6. Freedom

Freedom from guilt and condemnation – the freedom to feel – a relationship with Father where our own emotional needs are met and where the emotional deficits are gradually resolved and we become more able to feel for others.
Our ability to be available to others is dependent upon the degree to which our own emotional needs are being met.
Can we offer others space for their feelings where they are welcome to stay as they are?
The freedom to focus on the needs of others – because others have allowed us to focus on our needs.
If we don’t have an agenda we don’t have to focus on a particular outcome – we can be open-minded!

The freedom to fail – there will be times in our lives when we really fail.
While we can learn from our failures they must not be glossed over simply as learning opportunities.
The emotions of pain, sadness, confusion, shame or grief are very real and need to be incorporated into the narrative of our lives.
To the person who is undefended, no loss is so devastating as to threaten their security or identity.
How often does God allow us to experience significant failures and learn to live with the disabilities that they bring?

The freedom to forgive – forgiveness as the only way to find life?
Hostility to others is as a result of the fear narrative?
Acts of violence rob us of peace!
Those who are hostile are not simply the agents of pain but have been victims of pain – who need freedom from a fearful world.
Forgiveness reverses the spiral of fear – a case for an undefended life!

The freedom to fight – living an undefended life does not mean laying down one’s own defences – there will be times for self-protection and assertion in the face of inappropriate intrusion, or even hostility.
Maybe protecting and dignifying those who society has judged or dismissed!
Fighting may be appropriate when the motivation is not one of self-protection.
But many Christian groups feel they must never upset the apple-cart – and will always try to be nice to each other – and seldom disclose deeper feelings – sympathy and tolerance but very little empathy?
The need to be aware of the depth of pain that people are feeling.
What should they be doing with that anger (that may be towards God)?
What use is prayer time in such situations?

The need to go deeper!
To what extent do we really need professional counsellors who seem to exist because society at large has lost the ability and wisdom to listen, hear and be emotionally involved?

Most people live entirely untended lives, scurrying around with an array of external obligations, distracting themselves from the sorrow and emptiness within.
There are now so many ways in which people can be distracted from any proper introspection.
Our emotional and social literacy is so limited and immature – ‘touching each other’ but without the risk of commitment, discipline, honesty or depth!

[There is a popular myth that Christian behaviour should be perpetually forgiving and never judging].

The church is often seen as intolerant, hostile and judgemental.

Jesus judged in order to protect what was sacred or vulnerable and the undefended life has the courage to do likewise.

Where are the SAFE HAVENS?

Come to me, all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!!!


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