There is true freedom in Christ. It seems strange or backward, but it is real. You would expect that trying to live up to the high standards of Christ would bring so much restriction and repression, and that it would look unappealing to those looking from the outside, and perhaps it does sometimes. But when I am in the presence of friends who have set their own ideals and standards, I can't help but see the "stuckness" and "constipation" that seems to come on even stronger with the prideful hardening that comes with age. Things must be the way they think they are because there is SO much, a whole life, vested in these ideals.
It is so funny and ironic to me that most thinking non-christians would look and see what I'm saying as relating to US- but somehow the reality is the opposite.
I am free to accommodate and relate to all people of various positions. I feel no need to press that I am right. I mostly listen and be kind because I can be. I am kind. I am happy. Most people are not. I know that truth does not ride on other people believing "my truth." I'm free. I'm free to listen and laugh and bend and be weird with those who are weird, and serious with those who are serious, and strong with those who are strong. I'm not intimidated or grossed out by those who are grossly different than me.
Sometimes I look at my very culturally-connected female friends who are so vested in being strong, independent women... And I wonder if they feel free to wear pink, or to cry over something fickle, or truly let their hair down with the man in their life- being fully woman and letting him be fully man. Not thinking about how it ought to be, or that they must adjust to a culture telling us that these differences are more and more obsolete.
Can we laugh at our weakness- or marvel at certain strengths of someone with opposing views, without our whole identity feeling threatened?
Are we really free?
I have found self-imposed identities to be the most frail. The most vehemently guarded. But there is strength in Christ. There is freedom in Christ. I feel that I can be whatever he calls me to be and I know it will fit perfectly with who I am designed to be, and he will equip me to do it well. I can have success at being whatever, even if it is outside of what certain people think I ought, or ought not be doing. The oughts are gone. I am truly free.