In John 8:36, Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” In Colossians 1:13-14, it states, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” And 1 John 4:4 proclaims, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
And yet, in Galatians 5:1 it says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
With these biblical truths in mind, we can say that if you are a Christian, you are fully free in Christ, but it is also possible that you are choosing to not live free. It’s possible as Christians to let people, places, and things have holds on us. And I’m talking about the types of holds that haven taken root in our hearts and thus have come to alter our behavior in a negative way.
Therefore, here are 5 signs someone has a secret, unhealthy hold on you and how to break these holds.
1. If You Are Frozen in Time Because of Your Past Relationship with This Person
There are moments in life that come to define us. Instead of filtering a season or a moment in time through our biblical worldview created through studying Scripture, it’s possible to create a whole worldview out of a singular moment or season.
Perhaps you “fell in love” with someone and had sex with them. But then they left you. Now you are frozen in time, constantly thinking about them, thinking about what you could have done differently, and thinking about how much your moments with that person have come to define you.
Or perhaps you were starting to romantically connect with someone and you got really excited about this, but this person lost interest and moved on. Now your heart is still in the past, still wishing the relationship would have progressed into something more.
If you have stopped growing and you are stuck at a certain point in the past, God wants to set you free. Reject the lie that this person was your only chance at happiness and embrace the truth that God is able to give us things we cannot even imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21).
2. If You Are Measuring Everyone Else Against the Idol of This Person
One of the worst parts about idolizing someone is the affect it will have on all your other relationships.
When you idolize a person, you are holding an image of this person in your mind that even this person cannot live up to. But when this person leaves, you don’t have the time to realize they are not who you think they are. And thus you are stuck with this image of perfection in your mind and then you compare everyone else to this idol in your head.
The person you feel was perfect was not perfect. Repent of this idolatry. Reject the lie that there is no one else as good as this person. It’s a mirage. Only Jesus is perfect.
As Jonah 2:8 states, “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.”
3. If You Are Trying to Fulfill a Prophesy Because You Want It to Be True
Perhaps you felt like God promised you that this person was the one. Or maybe this person told you that God told them that you are the one for them. Or maybe a stranger prophesied over you and said you were about to meet the love of your life, and then you met this person.
If a prophesy does not come true, it was not from God. Period. God never lies (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18) and God always fulfills his promises (Isaiah 55:11, Ezekiel 12:25, Hebrews 13:8-9).
If something is just not true, don’t cling to it just because you want it to be true. Seek to follow God’s will rather than trying to create what you want God’s will to be.
4. If You Are Stuck in a Sin Cycle with This Person
Perhaps the clearest sign someone has a secret hold on you is when you are blinded to the negative effects they keep having in your life over and over again.
Perhaps you are committing sexual sin with someone. You repent. You both promise to do better. But then you fail again and again.
Or perhaps someone is verbally abusive, so you cut things off with them. But every few months, they come crawling back, promising you they are different. Yet somehow, you find yourself putting up with more verbal abuse.
If someone is trapping you in a sin cycle, walk the other direction away from them and don’t look back (Romans 6:12-14).
5. If You Are Willing to Choose This Person Over Jesus
The devil’s ultimate goal for you is not to keep you single, to keep you away from a healthy relationship, or to make you miss the good blessings God has for you. Satan’s main mission is to tempt you to reject Jesus.
Never allow someone to replace Jesus in your heart. He alone is the true Savior and the one our hearts need most. As Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).