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Living in His Freedom

The beauty of the trees reflected in the water reflects the beauty of freedom in Jesus.
Photo Credit: Sheila Fitch

(by Heather Marshall)

Are you free? 

If you asked me that question a few years ago, I would have answered you with an emphatic “Yes!” 

I enjoy freedom in so many aspects of my life. I live in a free country. I am free to make choices about my career, my relationships, my finances, and so much more. Most importantly, I am spiritually free, because through faith in Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross I am freed from the power and penalty of my sin. 

“But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23).

During that season of my life, if we were chatting over coffee about freedom, I would have wholeheartedly agreed that all these freedoms were gifts from God and mine to enjoy. The problem was, I had head knowledge about freedom but I was not living in the fulness and freedom God desired, especially in the area of my body. 

Through prayer and some gentle soul searching, the Lord revealed to my heart that I had been living under bondage to the world’s ideas of body image and I was shackled under the rules of diet culture. 

Thoughts such as: “What can I eat? Will that fit in my diet? I need to exercise to burn off those extra calories” were a constant thread in my thoughts from the moment I woke in the morning to the time I went to bed at night. And invariably, I would live under shame and guilt for not being able to meet the expectations of whatever plan I was following at the time. 

As Christians, even though we have been set free spiritually by faith in Christ we can still become enslaved by the enticements and traps of the enemy of our souls. Beth Moore, in her Bible study on the book of Galatians “Now that Faith has Come,” states, “the moment you let go of your right to live out your blood bought freedom in Christ, you will automatically embrace some form of enslavement.”

The Gentile Christians in Galatia had done just that — they had listened to erroneous teaching about following the law and circumcision from false teachers and now they were under a yoke of slavery again. “They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations” (Galatians 2:4).

The apostle Paul was so passionate about helping these believers that he loved so dearly not to get tangled up in bondage again. “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Galatians 5:1).

In our day and age, we don’t have the same form of bondage concerning the Mosaic law, but the enemy will use other strategies to enslave us. For me, it was body image and diet culture. Friend, I encourage you to reflect on your life. Is there an area in your life where the enemy is trying to enslave you? 

One way we can identify these bondages is by analyzing our thoughts. What type of thoughts take up a good part of our waking hours? We can also ask the Lord to help us identify if we have an area of our life where we are becoming enslaved. 

If we do identify an area of slavery, God wants to restore us to live fully in the freedom that he provided at such a cost to Himself. First, we need to repent. Every form of slavery is ultimately idolatry because we are putting that thing above God. God will forgive us and draw us back to Himself (1 John 1:9). 


Changing our pattern of thinking may not happen overnight, though. It certainly didn’t for me with body image and diet culture. It took daily time with the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in me, producing His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). As I spent time in His Word and in prayer, He revealed that my true identity was as His beloved daughter and not in the size or shape of my body.

It also took practical strategies on my part. I put distance between myself and things in our culture that triggered those thoughts. For example, I stopped following people on social media that promoted body image ideals. I also made efforts to steer conversations with others away from body image focus. 

Sharing my struggles in a community of like- minded Christians has also helped me live free from bondage to body image and diet culture. We need each other, and the apostle Paul encourages us to serve one another in love. “For you have been called to live in freedom my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).

Friend, if you ask me today “Are you free?”, I will joyfully tell you that I am truly free and by God’s grace I am now living in His freedom. I pray the same for you too, because there’s nothing else like it! 


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