Bound to Be Free uses Scripture to recalibrate our hearts so we can walk in the freedom Christ has provided from sin and from the encumbrances that weigh us down. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to see saints who are bound by performance, not realizing there is freedom through Christ. In the midst of performance, we try to please everyone, to do what we think makes God happy, to live a “good” life . . . and we don’t realize that the walls are closing in around us. There are four walls in the trap of performance: our trajectory, our relationships, our affirmation, and our peers. Each of these speaks deeply to our souls as something we need in order to have a “good life”—but we enslave ourselves to something that will never be enough.
Instead, God invites us into the trap of grace, which frees us. The life-giving walls of this trap are trust in God, reconciliation with God, affection from God, and partnership with our brothers and sisters in Christ. As we acknowledge how we are bound by performance, we can—with God’s help—flee into the captivity of grace and rest in God’s unfailing love.
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Horton (DNA: Foundations of the Faith), a church organizer currently working in Los Angeles and former executive director of ReachLife Ministries, understands how easy it can be to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone all the time. In his newest book of ministry, Horton explains how he came to realize that feeling bound by performance does not allow one to be free through Christ. He feels such self-perpetuating behavior to be something that people very dedicated to their spiritual calling—as pastors, laypeople, or church planters—encounter frequently, and can develop into debilitating obsession. The exhausting need to please everyone, thinking that in doing so we make God happy, only creates a never-ending cycle that will eventually break down the strongest of resolves. Instead, Horton offers insights on how he overcame that enslavement and turned his energies toward falling into the “trap of grace,” where he can fully concentrate on his belief that God’s “unfailing love stays with all of His children for the long haul.” Church planters, pastors, laypeople, and others who have found themselves trapped within their own obsession to please will find a kindred spirit in Horton and a way to re-energize themselves through his example and encouragement.