One of the problems with being a full-time student is the lack of time available to read books. Books that interest you. So, if you are finished with school — graduated high school or university — you finally have the time to do some reading!
A great place to start is The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. This book is actually just a book list. Bauer lists five categories of books: fiction, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry. In each category, she lists several dozen ‘must read’ books in chronological order, so that you are learning history as you read through each of the lists.
For example, one of the books in the ‘fiction’ category is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It is one of those books that every American should read. Although I read this book seven or eight years ago, I can still feel the tension and pain that made an imprint on my heart by reading this fictional story . . . a work of fiction that was based completely on true stories. (The author’s family was active in the Underground Railroad of the 1860’s, and each aspect of this famous novel is entirely based on true events.) It has been said that when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet, he said, “So, you are the lady who started the Civil War.”
After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree, then going on to earn a second Bachelor’s Degree at a Bible College, I gained my true education once I became a homeschooling mother! 🙂
15 years of homeschooling is where I became educated, and yes, Susan Wise Bauer’s book helped tremendously along that road.
There is so much to learn. I never want to stop learning. Books are the key. Educated teachers are of huge importance also, and have helped me so much. But, today, I just want to say a word in praise of books.
Books! Glorious books! Let’s all keep reading.
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below. The book I’m in right now is “The Science of Trust” by John Gottman, PhD. And, oh my gosh, it is sooo good.
Does an understanding of our freedom in Christ motivate us to sin? I don’t think so. I would argue that an understanding of our complete and total forgiveness motivates believers to receive something better: our true purpose and meaning.
Personally, although I know that I have total freedom in Christ, that freedom doesn’t provoke me to sin; instead it encourages me to live according to the New Covenant with its new law: the law of the Spirit of life.
The law of the Spirit of life! Have you heard of it? Paul mentions it in his letter to the Romans…
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:1&2, NASB)
So what is the law of the Spirit of life? As Romans 8 makes clear, it is the complete opposite of the law of sin and death, the Mosaic Law. This means that believers should not be led by the commandments and laws of the Old Covenant (or any set of laws!) Just let the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, lead you.
You know? ‘Cause you are free! 😀
“It is for freedom that Christ Jesus has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, NIV)
Paul the apostle is constantly encouraging us to live a life of freedom. In his letter to the Colossians, he tells us that living a life according to a bunch of rules is not a REAL life. It’s a fake, false life; a life in the shadows.
So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. (Colossians 2:17, NLT)
Interesting, huh!? 🤓 The religion of the Old Covenant was the shadow, “For these rules are only shadows of the reality.” They were a shadow of things yet to come. The life of faith in which we are governed by the law of the spirit of life is the reality that has come!
Paul says, “don’t let anyone condemn you.” A logical warning, because we can’t escape religious people. And for those Christians who still live in the shadow, condemning others is natural. Why? Because they themselves are governed by the law of sin and death.
You know what I am talking about, right!? We all have regularly experienced condemnation from the Christians with whom we interact.
It was common for me to come home from work feeling “beat up” by condemnation during the five years that I worked at a large Christian K-12 homeschool enrichment program. It was simply status quo for the ladies and teen girls that I interacted with; condemnation just sort of flows out of their mouths like a leaky faucet.
Why? Well there is a reason. It’s because they are still under “the law of sin and death.” They are still under the Old Covenant, which means that they mistakenly think that God still holds their sins against them. Living under this delusion makes them mean!
They do not intend to be mean . . . but they can’t help it. On one hand, they are sweet and kind and friendly and were fun to work with, but on the other hand, condemnation flows out of them nonetheless. (Usually during Staff Meetings when we are discussing “everyone else.”)
I am sharing this with you – not to bad-mouth homeschoolers — but to illustrate the point that most Christians are still under the law. They need to be set free!
So then, how shall we live? Well, we no longer live according to rules and regulations. We allow the law of the Spirit of Life to guide us. We no longer try to earn God’s favor by obeying the laws He gave to Moses. Instead we believe the truth that HE was obedient to the law on our behalf, and then died for the forgiveness of all sin.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17, NASB)
He fulfilled the Law, and then nailed it all to the cross. Obedience to the law has come to an end.
God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross. (Colossians 2:14, CEV)
The result of all of this is that we are SET FREE to live according to the Spirit! The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the Law of Sin and death.
So when you feel that someone is condemning you for not obeying some rule; for not keeping the Sabbath; for not being good enough or holy enough . . . for whatever standard that they feel you are not living up to . . . just remember Paul’s word to the Colossian church: don’t let anyone condemn you. And remember his words to the church in Rome: there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
My site is called Mom for Freedom, because I just so happen to be a Mom who is FOR freedom. I am pro-freedom. I desperately want my brothers and sisters to be set free – set free to live a life of peace and rest, growing in grace and getting to know Jesus better with each passing year.
In 2008, my children and I spent the month of September studying the story of survival at Jamestown, VA from 1603-1606. It was the first permanent English settlement and a large part of that success goes to John Smith. Because he was a ‘commoner’ he was looked down upon and undermined by snobbish gentlemen such as Wingfield and Ratcliffe who were chosen by the Virginia Company as Presidents before him. Yet John Smith’s natural ability to lead and inspire the men led him to eventually be elected President of the Jamestown colony; his knowledge of the American Indians’ language and his diplomacy in dealing and trading with them being just one of his many amazing accomplishments.
As citizens of the United States in the twenty-first century, it is easy to get upset at the advances being made toward socialism, toward a federal government with more and more power, and a country of “free” people with less and less freedom. What I would say to someone today who is feeling troubled is the same thing I said to my daughter back in 2008. “Sometimes we elect Ratcliffe and Wingfield as President, but remember what John Smith did when they angered him so. He relaxed his fists, calmed himself down, and decided to use his anger for better purposes. So, we likewise, should channel our anger toward fighting for freedom and for the principles we believe in.”
I see John Smith as the first great American Conservative and free-market capitalist. And, like him, we are not a people of rage; we are not motivated by anger and hate. We work hard; we do not sit around taking handouts; we believe in basic human dignity and therefore, we come out successful in the end.