Want to Experience More Freedom? This is What’s Required

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately about freedom. It reminded me of an idea I came across recently.

I’ll warn you upfront: it twisted my brain a little bit, so if you haven’t had your coffee yet, you may want to grab a cup now.

Are you ready? Here we go:

“Freedom is being disliked by other people.” *

Wait, what?!

The passage went on to say: “[Being] disliked by someone [is] proof that you are exercising your freedom and living in freedom, and a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles.” * [emphasis added]

As someone who’s spent waaaay too many years thinking that if there’s even one person in this whole wide world who doesn’t like every single thing about me then I must be defective, when I read this passage, it almost made my head explode. 🤯

(I told ya you’d need your coffee!)

I’d realized long ago that not everyone was going to like me. But associating their dislike with freedom? That was new to me.

. . .

And yet, it shouldn’t have been.

Paul tells us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1a, NIV)

But Jesus warned: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19, NIV)

Jesus has set us free, and yet it is because of our freedom in Christ that we will be hated.

Well . . . that’s not very encouraging. Especially if you read the rest of that Bible passage, which is about persecution.

But it does put things in perspective.

In fact, Jesus told those who believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, BLB)

The truth will set you free.

I confess I’ve spent too much of my life being afraid of the truth, wanting to sugarcoat it or avoid saying it altogether. I’ve even been tempted to share half-truths for fear of being disliked.

What I hadn’t taken into account is that freedom means being disliked by other people.

We can’t avoid it. And we shouldn’t avoid it.

Because truth is what sets us free.

Since coming to these realizations, I’ve been a little bit braver. And I’ve started writing the truth about situations that I am uniquely positioned to share.

For instance, I’m working on an article about why our education system is failing us — and how, as a lifelong college instructor and a parent, I’m partly to blame.

Not everyone will like it. And that scares me. A lot. But that doesn’t make it less true. (So hold me accountable to hit publish, would ya?)

What about you?

  • Where have you been forgoing your freedom by looking for likes?
  • What truth do you avoid that you’re uniquely qualified to share?

May you walk with the God of truth, and rely on His strength, for His grace is sufficient for you, and His power is perfected in weakness.**


* From the book The Courage to Be Disliked, by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga
** Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Corinthians 12:9.

*  *. *

Want to learn more about how you can experience freedom through truth? Check these out:


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Hi, I’m Kendra

I help bright, successful over-thinkers change their negative thoughts using Scripture and the science of how God made you.

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