An Encouraging Word – Free to be me

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

You surround me with joyful shouts of freedom. Psalm 32:7

As I approach the 4th of July holiday, I have freedom on my mind. I am probably freer than I have ever been in my life.

Nationally, I am free. I live in a country within which I can still enjoy freedom of speech, of assembly, of religion, of the press and to petition the government to right wrongs.

Financially I am free. If I live simply I should be able to live long and well because I have been creative about money management, disciplined about saving and generous in my sharing. Only a huge national financial crisis could spoil things now.

Professionally, I am free. I do not have to work if I so choose. “Retired,” for me means that I can choose what to do and all the pressure I feel about accomplishing things is self-inflicted.

Emotionally, I am free. I am at peace with the ways things are for the most part. I do not have much to feel guilty about. I have very few regrets. I am not one to carry grudges.

Relationally, I am free. I am blessed with quite a few friends and many satisfying relationships. I am often overwhelmed by the appreciation, affirmation and generosity of the many good people I know and who know me.

Because of them, even though I am single, I never feel lonely.

Spiritually, I am free. I am at peace with God. My favorite image of God at this point in my life is “faithful companion.” I feel neither judged nor condemned, but accepted and cherished. Rather than being terrified about dying, I wait in joyful hope for His coming.

Physically, I am free. I am in great health compared to many people my age and suffer from no chronic pain or disabilities. I can afford an internist, dentist, dermatologist and optometrist. I have a comfortable home, safe neighborhood, all I want to eat, clothes for every occasion and the opportunity to travel anywhere I want to go.

Psychologically, I am free. I now know that I have the freedom to choose my response to any given situation no matter what happens to me or around me. Most of the time I have the inner strength to exercise that choice.

Personally, I am free. I am considered authentic. Who I am and what I do are integrated. I am not playing a role or performing an act. I am in touch with both my weaknesses and strengths. I like to be approved of, but I can certainly function without it.

What about you? What does freedom mean to you? In what areas of your life are you free or unfree? What do you need to do to have more freedom in your life —wait for someone else to set you free or do what you need to do to set yourself free?

To read more from Father Knott, visit his blog: FatherKnott.com.

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