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The dictionary describes 'release' as "a verb to allow or enable to escape from confinement; to set free".

This got me thinking about the many things we think we have confined but are actually confining us - negativity, bitterness, pride, judging others, materialism... We may think we have got these contained in our thoughts but they find a way of seeping out, working their way into our emotions, imagination and will, changing our body chemistry till the outworking is evident in health and mental dis-ease.

I recently wrote a reflection about 'Letting Go' and the value that comes from having a heart and a home that is free from the detritus of clutter. The clutter in our homes can also confine us in the same way - deceiving us into containing or hoarding what we think are items of value until these same items keep us imprisoned and so cluttered together that they no longer have meaningful value. They prevent us from socialising and interacting with others freely and they fill up the spaces where healthy human connections should be.

We should give no place or room to anything that devalues us or our homes in any way. We are devalued (spiritually, mentally and emotionally) when we give space to envy, hatred, bitterness or negativity and even grief that has lingered too long. We devalue our homes when they are cluttered and disorganised and difficult places to be in.

When we find ourselves confined by the very things we started out confining, it is time to initiate our plan for release - for both the valueless things and for us. In my reflection, I suggested that the Cross of Jesus was God's judicial provision for all our heart wounds and griefs - a place of exchange to release sin and shame and receive comfort and peace.

There is great freedom that comes when we let go of all the things in our hearts and homes that de-value.





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