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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Get Free: Two (2) ways we become stressed under pressure and one solution to both problems.

Discover freedom in rejecting expectations and shoulds by tapping into identity's noble desires.

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

For Freedom we have been set FREE:

We use the term "free" quite a bit in the United States of America "Land of the Free". The Bible tells us that we are made free and is for freedom that we've been set free. Gateway Church in Southlake Texas has a whole wing of ministry called Freedom Ministry.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 ESV   (whole chapter here)

So if the Son makes you free (1659 /eleutheróō), you will be free (1658 /eleútheros) indeed. Jn 8:36 NASU

But what does that mean, exactly?

What does it mean to be set free, made free, be free? 

Under the contexts of freedom I've seen throughout the Bible's tapestry, and those that have played out in my life and the lives of others, I see primarily two wings of freedom. Both are required to set your life to flight. And both wings require a life-long commitment to build strength around. You'll never have a day where you don't need to work on keeping these wings strong or making them stronger.

They are:

1. Outside Expectations
2. Inside Temptations

1. Outside Expectations: The Pressure to Perform

Outside Expectations can be many things. They are summarized as pressure to conform or fit into your society, culture, church, or group.

Any expectation that you think makes you qualify. I need to act a certain way to be good enough. I need to talk a certain way to be good enough. If I do x, y, and z I'll be a good Christian and get in God's good graces. 

It is due to these expectations we have either been told exist; or, we tell ourselves exist; the pressure to perform is created.

Solution is Identity: Your value and worth do not come from what you do but from who you are. 

There is no value in performance. You are not a "better Christian" because you performed. You are not more worthy to others because you performed. On the outside, you may see them praise you performance (which is how we get into this trap early on).

You need to understand that your value doesn't come from performance but from knowing who God created you to be. When you tap into your identity, you no longer feel required to perform.

Ironically, this form of being set free actually leads to more consistent, authentic, and value-driven perfomance. Now, you are performing out of who you are and not in order to be seen as something you are not.

2. Inside Temptations: The Pressure of Should

You know things you "should" be doing, but you don't do them. You know things you "shouldn't" be doing, but you do them. You don't want to do them, but you do them. Why?

Stop Shoulding on Yourself

This should mentality drives you to see all the places your outward behavior hasn't lined up with your inner desires and drives. Because of this, you become failure conscious. This drives you to focus on the areas you fail, which then makes you feel like a failure, which then demotivates you to keep trying. It's a self-feeding cycle of failure. 

Solution is Identity: Knowing who you are, tap into that inner person and ask them, what does my Noble Self desire? 

Being set free in your identity allows you to trust that identity because it's who God made you to be.

So I am not going to say: "I have to get up tomorrow and go for a walk".

I am going to say: "My Noble Self desires to get up tomorrow and go for a walk."

One is an obligation, the other is an identity-based choice. If you choose not to go, you didn't fail. You simply chose something else. You are free to make choices now.

Understanding your identity will set you free from the expectations of others and those you place on yourself. You are free to make choices, and understand what self those choices are coming from. 

What about you? Comment below:

What choices have you made recently that were driven by expectations of "shoulds"? How could knowing your identity and tapping into the desires of your Noble Self change how you live (the pressure you live under)?


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ

1 comment:

  1. Awesome article, Darrell. Really needed the reminder. Thanks for sharing.
    As one with Co-dependent tendencies, I have lived most of my life living under the expectations of others in order to secure my value and identity. So, that is the familiar world of thinking that I turn to when I feel stressed, which makes it worse.
    As you stated, living under the expectations we put on ourselves or we think others are putting on us, stresses us out and we become hamsters on wheel, never moving forward. Best to accept our identity in Christ of who we are than what we do.
    Part of this "pressure" though I feel is our society and consumerism. "Always more", "keeping up with the neighbors", driven without a real reward.
    Remembering to receive my value and identity from God is a constant battle. one that is worth fighting.


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