Freedom Takes Effort – Proverbs 6:5

Proverbs 6:5 -Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

What is it that entangles you? For some people it may be secret sins, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, anger, hatred, bitterness, depression, or weight problems. So many things can snare you and rob you of your freedom. Once you are caught it is easy to get complacent and just not care about anything else. Our problems become compounded by the cascading effect.

When I weighed 300 pounds I stopped weighing myself because it was too depressing. The numbers didn’t improve just because I ignored it. They got worse. I was having problems with my back, by knees, and my ankles popped and cracked. My blood pressure was high. My blood-sugar was getting higher. My cholesterol levels were creeping up too. I was having trouble sleeping. I was tired all the time. Yes, I was in a prison of my own making.

I longed to be free. But just wanting to be free isn’t enough. You have to do something. You have to make a start.

When sin is the problem you have to recognize it, admit to yourself what it is doing to you, acknowledge it to God, repent of it, and walk away from it. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” John 8:34-36.

But it doesn’t come from just sitting in an easy chair and wishing you were free.

In my weight loss journey I found that I had to do things I didn’t really like. I had to limit my portions. I had to cut certain things out that I really liked. I had to…ugh, dare I say it, exercise.

I couldn’t do it alone. I’m not that disciplined. I had to find some people who could help me and encourage me. I had to learn how to do things differently. It took work. It took a lot of work.

My journey has not ended. I have learned that to stay free one must stay close to Jesus. It is a daily walk with him that gives me motivation. I want to please him and to serve him and it can’t be done when you are entangled in a mess made by sin and laziness.

It is the power of God’s spirit that helps me everyday. It is the encouragement of friends and my wife that keep me accountable. And it is the prayers from others that glue it all together.

Dear Father in Heaven, Thank you for the freedom that comes in Jesus Christ! I can’t thank you enough for saving me from my sinfulness. I praise you for your spirit that guides me. I am grateful for my friends and wife who encourage me. Help me to pay the favor back by encouraging and holding others accountable too. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”
-Calvin Coolidge

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