Freedom from a Fishbowl
They had never watched a movie together. All through high school, through dating, and engagement, though they spent much time together, they had never watched a single movie together. Now here they were on their honeymoon, and as they clicked on the remote, the movie “Truman Show” just happened to be on. It’s a movie starring Jim Carrey about a man that is kept inside of a make believe world, being filmed as a reality show, but made to believe his life is his own. When the movie ended she turned to her husband and said “that movie was my life.”
Jinger Duggar was constantly on TV from the time she was 10 years old until she was 20. Her family was featured on a reality series showing what life is like with a large family, made up of 19 children. Their family is vocal about their Christian faith, and saw the show as a means of sharing that with the world. Her life was as much of a fishbowl as it could be. Though she was under constant observation, she found her own identity apart from the show, and that identity was in keeping the rules. This obsession with rule keeping led to her life being controlled by fear.
In her book Becoming Free Indeed, she talks about what she learned about true freedom. “Freedom is not unlimited options. And it’s not obedience to man-made rules… the grace of God is helping me to understand that ‘if the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed!’ (John 8:36).”
As I mentioned in last week’s letter, our theme for the church this year is “Free and Fearless.” If you’ve struggled with finding freedom from legalism and fear, then you will greatly benefit from reading her book. The thing I loved most about her story, which blogger Tim Challies highlighted in his review of the book, was that her rejection of legalism didn’t cause her to also reject Christ, but rather moved her closer to Him. It’s a refreshing story in an age when “deconstructing” faith is all the rage.
My prayer is that Valley View will always be a place where we are pursuing Christ first and foremost. Not legalism, and not empty freedom from all constraints, but a true freedom in Christ that leads us to boldly proclaim the Gospel without fear all over Southwest Louisville!