Monday, November 28, 2011

Bonds That Make Us Free

In my gender class this semester, I was asked to read a book titled "Bonds that Make Us Free" by C. Terry Warner. This book has perhaps been one of the most influential and life changing books that I have ever read. Its pages are packed with ways that we can rid ourselves of the self-centered, pity-seeking habits that bind us. I read the epilogue, and I got shivers as I read the final words. Warner talks of faith - not faith in a God, or faith in a certain religion, but faith in "doing the right thing no matter what others may think." It takes faith to do what we inherently know is right, especially when those around us are shouting at us that what we are doing and the way that we are living our life is wrong. C. Terry Warner continues:

Some people misguidedly think that faith is for insecure people who cannot stand on their own, and who use it as a crutch. Those who think this way do not appreciate how dependent we are upon each other. Nor do they comprehend that theirs in the negative kind of dependency, a bondage maintained by comparisons, judgement, and generally unspoken mistrust.

When one lives a life full of comparing himself to others, judging those who do not accept the way that a life is lived or condemning those who "victimize" and "insult" a lifestyle, that person finds himself utterly in bondage in hatred and in self-victimization. He or she cannot be happy unless able to blame much of their heartaches and troubles on others that have occurred in their life. They let this hatred build the very foundations that they believe in. These beliefs are only built on hatred and condemnations of others. Warner states it so eloquently in the following few sentences:

Self-absorbed people never think as clearly or act as decisively as those whose conscience is clear. They see threats where none exist, often can't tell their enemies from their friends, and tend to surround themselves with allies who won't overshadow them. . . Moreover, they spur other people to resist them. They cling to others' failures in order to excuse failures of their own.

This book has focuses so much on putting the blame on yourself, asking yourself the question "could I be wrong," thinking of others before yourself, and having a "consistent readiness to yield to the truth in ALL circumstances, no matter what the apparent cost." When a person can live in such a manner, they find that they don't have to look at others failures and shortcomings in order to feel good about themselves. They don't have to dig around in the past and show how their circumstances created the horrible lives that they have lived or live. A person is simply able to accept what he or she knows to be true, and act on it.

I want to end with a fable and a fact stated by C. Terry Warner.


The quality of life - the success we hope for - depends largely upon attaining what people have commonly called the good life. By this we mean competing for, obtaining, and securely holding on to certain externals - for example, pleasures, status, or possessions- which we regard as valuable, satisfying, and reflective of our worth.


The quality of life depends upon the choices we make, moment by moment, to do exactly what we sense is right toward all living things, including God. To distinguish this from pursuing the good life, I would like to call it pursuing a life of goodness. This means a life of practical faith.

If you have a chunk of time to do nothing and want to be truly inspired, take a moment to read this book. It is not a religious book - in fact, the only time that it mentions God and Faith is in the epilogue. I promise you will get something out of reading it (Again, it is titled "Bonds that Make Us Free" by C. Terry Warner.) I loved what I have learned, and I love how much more loving and kind and free I feel after reading it.

Life is great people. :) I know I haven't written my sleep-walking blog - and honestly, I don't think I will ever get around to it. This blog has been neglected much this year, but everything is more than wonderful in my life.