How Free Do You Want to Be? – Week 1

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Matters of the Heart” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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And now, on to this week’s post! 🙂


Freedom comes in many shapes and sizes. We talk about physical freedom, political freedom, financial freedom, emotional freedom, psychological freedom, and spiritual freedom. Some of these freedoms–like physical, financial, and political freedom–can be taken from us, but the freedom we have in Christ–spiritual, psychological, and emotional freedom–can never be taken from us.

One definition of “freedom” is this: the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. In his 1828 Dictionary, Noah Webster defines freedom as follows: A state of exemption from the power or control of another.

For the next few weeks,I will be addressing the freedom we Christ-Followers have from the power and control of Satan. Knowing how to enforce this freedom is critical to living the abundant life that Jesus promised us. So, please don’t miss any of the blog posts in this very important series.

To begin, let’s take a look at where freedom starts:

Freedom is a choice. And that choice is a function of the will. We must first will or want to be free before we can ever be free.

Once we have made a choice to be free, then we must turn our attention to that place within us where we find the root of freedom: the human spirit.  When we are born into this world, our human spirit is separated from God. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive a new spirit that is now connected with God. This process is called being born again.

There can be no true and lasting freedom without being born again by receiving Jesus Christ into our lives. Christ is the origin of freedom. He is Truth, and He Himself has told us that only Truth will set us free (John 8: 32).

In order to be free, we must ask ourselves three questions:

1—Do I really want to be free? Would you believe that some people don’t want to be free? Instead, they want to be taken care of and willingly relinquish their freedom for unnecessary dependence–dependence that grows out of laziness or lack of awareness. We see this happening in our government every day.

2—How free do I want to be? The degree of freedom you attain is entirely up to you. Those who are the most free are those who desperately want to be free and go after freedom. The degree of your desire to be free is the chief indicator of how free you will be.

3–Am I willing to do what it takes to be free? You’ve most likely heard the statement that freedom isn’t free. This is a true statement. All freedom has a price attached to it. The greater the price paid, the greater the freedom earned or received. The ultimate price for freedom was the Blood of Jesus Christ. What price are you willing to pay to be free? Free in your spirit, free in your soul, free in your body, free in your finances?

Instant Access to Kingdom as a Key ConceptBecoming free is a major problem for most people. Perhaps you have been trying to get free of anger or addiction, of poverty or procrastination, of depression or despair. No matter what is standing in the way of your freedom, there is a way out.

In order to help you be free, Holy Spirit has instructed me to begin a weekly series on the Keys to the Kingdom of God. You see, we Christ-Followers live in a supernatural kingdom. This supernatural kingdom has laws by which it functions. Unless we unlock those laws, we will live earthly lives of continual struggle under the curse–in other words, of continual and increasing bondage. But as we learn to operate in the laws of God’s Kingdom, we will live under the blessing–in other words, of continual and increasing freedom.

In the weeks ahead, we will be taking a look at the Keys of the Kingdom that unlock the mysteries of the Laws of the Kingdom. We will learn how the Laws of the Kingdom operate. We will learn that the Laws of the Kingdom are directly opposite from the Laws of the World and usually don’t make sense to the natural mind. We will learn that only by living according to the Laws of God’s Kingdom will we experience true freedom and true life.

I look forward to having you join me on this journey. Please tell your family and friends about this blog series and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

And remember this: You will be as free as you choose to be.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Are you aware that there are laws that govern the Kingdom of God? If so, please share how operating in one or more of those laws has changed your life. Please leave a comment in the box below.

 How Free Do You Want to Be? by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

Recognizing Emotional Adultery

Sex and Soul Ties

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daystar-devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

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How to Be Free

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Freedom is first and foremost an inside job. 

Chain breaking

File: #77119588 | Author: SSilver

To be free requires knowing and applying truth to our lives. The critical question then becomes, “What is truth?”

Jesus said, “I am the . . . Truth” (John 14:6).  To know Jesus Christ is to know Truth.

When you know Jesus, aka Truth, and receive Him into your life, you will be free.

When you know truth, aka Jesus, and apply it to your life, you will be free.  

Bondage results from adherence to a lie. What lies are keeping you in bondage?

Freedom results from adherence to truth. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  

If you want to be free, get to know Jesus Christ.

I welcome your comments. You may leave a comment by clicking here.

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Are Lies Hurting Your Heart?


“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Scales, advantage truthDo you know that the health of your heart depends on your believing the truth? The more truth you believe, the healthier your heart (soul) will be.

Not only does the health of your heart depend on your believing the truth, but the degree of freedom you experience in life depends on your believing the truth. 

Truth and freedom are intimately and inseparably intertwined. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  Have you ever wondered why we in America have experienced so much freedom? It is due to the fact that our Founding Fathers believed the truth and built our country on it.

Have you also wondered why we in America are now losing many of our freedoms? The reason is that over the last sixty years or so, we have gradually been moving away from the truth.

What is truth? Prominent theologian RC Sproul says this: “Truth is defined as that which corresponds to reality as perceived by God.”  Apologist Ravi Zacharias adds that “The single most important question any human being can ask is the question, ‘What is truth’?”

So, again I ask you, “What is truth?” Do you know the answer to that question? Have you ever asked yourself that question? The answer you give has serious implications for your heart.

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus the same question just before our Lord’s crucifixion. But Pilate asked mockingly, not with a sincere desire to know the truth.

Do you have a sincere desire to know the truth? This question was posed to me 45 years ago.  At the time, I had a burning desire to be free of the bondage in my life. When I discovered that knowing the truth would make me free, I began a life-long journey to know truth. What I discovered is that Truth is not a thing. Truth is a Person, and that Person is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Truth Personified. To know Him is to know Truth. To know Jesus is to know Freedom.

If there is any bondage in your life, you can be absolutely sure that there is a lie behind it. Knowing Jesus will set you free from the lie. 

So, our primary task in life is to pursue Jesus. As we discover Him, He will shatter the lies that have us bound. As those lies crumble, our freedom will grow, as will our love for Him Who set us free.

Do you want to know the truth about who you are in Christ? If so, read YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! and discover how to recognize and destroy the lies in your life.  You Were made for Greatness

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at  or via one of her social media venues below:

Deck the Soul with Boughs of Forgiveness

CHRISTMAS!  The word evokes many feelings, depending on our experiences. For some, Christmas is a happy time, filled with beautiful memories and joyful expectations. For others, Christmas is a bitter, depressing time, a season one wants “to get over with” as quickly as possible because of bad memories associated with this time of year.

Having ministered to people for many years, I have come to the conclusion that, other than the pain of having lost a loved one, depressing memories at Christmas time are sometimes related to problems of unforgiveness. Hurts from the past become more pronounced during the Christmas season, but the reason those hurts still affect us is that we have not let go of the bitterness associated with them. In short, we have not forgiven the people who hurt us.

Why do most people have such a difficult time forgiving? I believe the main reason is that they do not understand what forgiveness really means. If you are one of those people, what follows may help you:


  • Forgiveness is NOT letting someone off the hook.
  • Forgiveness is NOT condoning evil.
  • Forgiven is NOT being a doormat.
  • Forgiveness is NOT having to trust again the person who hurt you.
  • Forgiveness is NOT a feeling.
  • Forgiveness is NOT an option.


  • Forgiveness IS taking the person who hurt you off of your hook and placing him on God’s hook, then praying that God will have mercy on him.
  • Forgiveness IS acknowledging that evil was done but choosing to bear the consequences of that evil without retaliation.
  • Forgiveness IS taking charge of your emotions.
  • Forgiveness IS setting boundaries with the person who hurt you, even refusing temporary or permanent interaction with that person, if necessary. An example would be a wife who is being beaten by her husband.
  • Forgiveness IS a decision.
  • Forgiveness IS obedience to God’s commandment to forgive.

No matter how badly you have been hurt, choose to forgive. It’s the best thing you can do for your own well-being. Unforgiveness chains you emotionally to the person who hurt you. Forgiveness breaks that chain and sets you free.

What better time is there than the Christmas season to forgive those who have hurt us? The very essence of Christmas is the truth that God forgave humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Who are we not to forgive when God has forgiven us?

So this Christmas, forgive! But don’t just forgive. Ask to be forgiven. As the Word of God tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us need not only to forgive but also to be forgiven.  And as long as we are on this earth, it is never too late to forgive or to be forgiven.

For a heartwarming, compelling story on the power of forgiveness, you may wish to read my moving novella entitled A Christmas Homecoming.  It is available in electronic format for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  You may purchase an electronic copy of A Christmas Homecoming HERE,

To view the beautiful book trailer of A Christmas Homecoming, click here.

Last, but not least, may you forge happy memories this Christmas season as the power of forgiveness sets you free!

*Copyright 2012-2021 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may reach her at