Stop Being A Slave To Yourself

Stop Being A Slave To Yourself

It's possible.
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In a day and age of "anything goes" and "Just do you, boo," it is easy to become confused and a tad distressed, especially if you are in your early 20s. You are no longer a teenager, but you're not quite an adult yet, either. The tide of the world's ideas and morals begin to push and pull you stronger than ever before. In high school, you had your close group of friends who share the same morals and values you do. When you got to college, you stayed close to those church friends of yours and people who want to lead you to Christ. But as the years pass, you are ready to branch out into different groups and walks of life. You see the importance of understanding life from a vast view of perspectives in order to become a more loving and vulnerable person. It is wonderful, exciting, and adventurous.

The only downside is this. You are no longer in a bubble. Each day comes with a different itinerary of temptation. The devil is there and he is crouching at the door when you walk out in the morning. Sometimes, all it takes is for you to say, "In the name of Jesus, just get away, fool!" But other days it feels as if you are wrestling with him again and again. You doubt yourself, you doubt God, you ask yourself is it really all worth it? Can I really continue to follow Christ? It's so hard! It would be so much easier to fit in! People like me better when I cuss and drink and behave recklessly. I'm cooler that way. I'm in the Army for goodness sake! I can't be a little b----!

And, then, other doubts follow afterward. "Am I really ever going to get married?! Nothing in me wants to be married. Will I ever have the desire to? But can I really wait until I'm 30 to have sex? That's a long time! Will I even be attractive then? If I have to wait that long I might as well join the nunnery!" And then Satan's voice is loud and very annoying. "You can never do it, Sarah. So just give it up now. No one else is waiting, why should you wait? Enjoy yourself! Have fun!"

But then a quiet voice comes from within. A voice of unrelenting love. It is so gentle and so tender. It has the ability to calm any tempest and mental anguish. It says my name. God says my name. It is beautiful and wonderful and I would travel the galaxy to hear it again. "Trust. Me". And then I begin again..."But God...it's so hard..." And again, I hear Him. "Trust Me, my child." And before I can debate again, an otherworldly peace comes over me. It is so strong and thick and deep I can almost touch it. I am surrounded like an ocean. I am immersed in safety, love, and the permission to be vulnerable. I unleash it all on Him. "God, I need your help! I struggle with wanting to drink, I struggle with lust, I struggle with loving myself. I struggle with pleasing others... I struggle with loving my body, I struggle, Lord! I need you. I need you to take away these desires right now. The desire to become intoxicated. The desire to be "One" with someone, the desire to be accepted by the opposite sex, the desire to be liked by everybody!"

I begin to feel weight lifted off me and the responsibility to determine my own future. Over the next second, minute, day, and days afterward, I feel desire leave me. The desires I have asked God to save for a different stage of life. I no longer have to be a slave to my sin and my mind day in and day out. I no longer have to desperately attempt to subdue my sinful flesh. I am free to love and to live life to the fullest.

"For your father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8) and "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether" (Psalm 139:4). And I am reminded that I do not have to continue living day-to-day fighting these demons by myself. No, I have the creator of the universe, capable of doing anything and everything. I have Jesus Christ, sent for this exact purpose.

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:1.

We all have things we harbor in the darkest corner of our hearts and minds. We all have things we struggle with. But one thing I can say is: give it to God today. Choose freedom over your flesh. You won't be disappointed.

Cover Image Credit: Denise Demetry

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28 Urban Slang Terms Every New Yorker Knows

It's dead ass mad brick out today.
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The New York City youth is greatly influenced by hip-hop culture, and hip-hop culture is continuously influenced by New York City. With the colorful expressions found in both hip-hop and the streets of New York, colorful language is inevitable. The truth is, you're not a real New Yorker if you've never heard these terms before.

1. Whack = (adj) used to describe something that is appalling in nature

"That's whack!"

2. Grill = (v) to stare, usually impolitely; to give a dirty look

"Dude stop grilling my girlfriend, I know her spray tan looks whack."

3. To front/Fronting = (v) to put on a façade; acting like you are something that you are not.

"Stop fronting like you own the place."

4. Cop = (v) to buy

"I'm about to cop some chips, you want some?"

5. Catch these hands = phrase used to initiate a fight

"If that girl keeps grilling me she can catch these hands."

Variations: throw these hands; throw hands; catch this fade

6. Crusty = (adj) used to describe someone who is dirty or trashy

"Girl, did you shower today? Your hair is looking all types of musty, dusty, and crusty."

Synonyms: musty; dusty

7. Lit = (adj) used to describe someone or something that is amazing in every sense

Variations: litty

8. Mad = (adv) very

"Stay away from her, bro. She has mad problems."

Synonyms: dumb; OD; stupid

9. Dumb = (adv) extremely

"This party is dumb lit."

Synonyms: mad; OD; stupid

10. Brick = (adj) very cold

"Damn, it's mad brick out."

11. Tight = (v) to be upset

"Stop running your fingers through my hair; you're getting me dumb tight."

12. Thirsty = (adj) desperate; (n) someone who is desperate

"I didn't tag you in my photo because I don't want any thirsties following you."

Variations: thirsties (n)

13. Buggin' = freaking out; acting up

"My mom just asked me to clean all the dishes even though it's not my turn. She's buggin."

Synonyms: wylin'/wildin'

14. Son = (n) a good friend

"Of course I know him, that's my son!"

Synonyms: B

15. B = (n) a good friend

"What's good, B?"

16. Sus = shady or false

*Short for "suspect" or "suspicious"

"That girl is mad sus for looking at me like that."

17. Dead ass = (adj) seriously

"You're dead ass getting me tight, B."

*Could also be used as follows:

"Dead ass?" = Are you serious?

"Dead ass!" = Yes.

18. Guap = (n) money

"Okay, this to all of my enemies that seeing me gettin' guap right now." -- Big Sean

Synonyms: Mulah; dough; casheesh

19. Grimey = (adj) used to describe a back-stabber

"I'm telling you, bro. He's mad grimey, don't trust him."

20. You woulda thought = a more exciting way to say "no"

"You woulda thought I was going to let you use my laptop to log on to your shady-ass websites."

21. OD/Ohdee/Odee = (adj) excessive; an abbreviation for "over-doing"

"Man, my professor just assigned OD work on BlackBoard."

Synonyms: mad; dumb

22. Wylin'/Wildin' = out of control

"That girl was wildin' last night when she threatened to throw hands at you for no reason."

Synonyms: buggin'

23. Facts = (adj) something that is rooted in truth

"That's a fact, B."

Synonyms: true

24. Snuff = (v) to punch

"I should've never threatened to throw hands. He straight up snuffed me in the throat."

Synonyms: rock

25. Wavy = (adj) used to describe something that is cool or nice

"I’m so wavy in the turbo Porsche, she so wavy in the new Mercedes" -- Ty Dolla $ign

Synonyms: dope, lit

26. Kicks = (n) sneakers

"Where'd you cop those kicks from?"

27. Beef = (n) having a fight or holding a grudge against another person or group of people

"Tommy told me you guys have beef."

28. Ice = (n) jewelry

"Ice on my neck cost me 10 times 3." -- D.R.A.M.

Variations: icy (adj)

Cover Image Credit: BKNPK

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Thank You To The Man Who Taught Me How To Be A Man

"Oh, almost forgot to do something, thank my father too. I actually learned a lot from you, you taught me what not to do." -Eminem

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Dear You,

Starting this off by saying "dear" feels disgustingly wrong. Nothing about you is dear, nothing you have ever done for me has been dear, expect you got me into Eminem at eight years old but let's be honest- that would have happened anyways. As far as the "you" part, you have no title in my life anymore, your name means nothing to me anymore nor does your previous title.

You have fucked me over more than anyone in my entire life. You've hurt me, pushed me down more times than I can count- but I've stood up one more time than each time you've pushed me down. You'll never see me succeed, nor will you meet my wife or our kids. This letter isn't to bash you, I'm over that because I'm better than you now and I realize that.

I want to thank you for the one thing you did do for me. You made me a man. I was raised on my Poppa's mindset- a house is controlled by God, a man, the wife, the kids, then everything else. I highly disagree with this now, but from age four you made me a man. My Poppa taught me that there was supposed to be a man and there was nobody else besides me and my momma so it was all up to me.

You know last week I refinished a cabinet all by myself? Sanded, stained, and sealed it all on my own. Now that's not a man's job but it's also not my momma's job because she works two to take care of me since we don't have anyone else besides Poppa and Grams. I was so proud of myself and I would have given anything for my Uncle Raymond to see it, he'd be so damn proud of me. Poppa sure as hell is. I didn't learn that from you, I taught myself how to do it. That was my second time ever staining anything, the first time was two weeks before that cabinet. Poppa is too sick to teach me things now and I don't expect him to do it, Uncle Raymond is gone- I'm the only man I've got.

I'm still not strong, I don't workout because I hate it tremendously. I can fix almost anything you put in front of me and I know more about cars than any girl I hang around (besides momma because she chased for so long). In 19 years I've learned how to hold my emotions in like a man because I had to be the strong one when you broke us. The only times are cry is when my girlfriend and I fight or I make momma cry, or if I'm really sick. I cried today too because I didn't get a job, I felt like a failure and I don't want to let momma down like others have in the past; including myself.

I still don't eat meat- not because I'm a "stuck up bitch". I don't drive a truck, but I want to so I can fit all of my things in it. I have a lot to say but not enough time or space to say it. I guess what I want to say is you forced me to become a man from the time I was four years old. I've always told people that I had to be the man of the house because we didn't have one. You don't make me want to be a man, you make me want to be a person and a damn good one. You make me want to be a partner to my wife, a loving one that provides. You make me want to be the best parent in the world- one that plays with Barbies and race cars (with the same damn kid).

You might not have done much, but you made me a man. A damn good man.

Best,

C

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