DeVon Franklin Encourages Believers to Find True Happiness in Christ
By Movieguide® Staff
Hollywood producer and author Devon Franklin recently released a new book called LIVE FREE to encourage believers to find their true happiness in God.
“I’ve been in the church my whole life, I’ve been a Christian my entire life, and in my experience, a lot of people in the church community are not free,” the 43-year-old told The Christian Post. “They’re free because Jesus died for their sins, but then they put themselves in a prison of other people’s thoughts and opinions about how they should live. And as a result, we are literally perpetuating a culture where we want to judge and vilify people if they don’t live according to how we think they should live as a Christian.”
Franklin noted that the ultimate judge is God and that people should trust him for the trajectory of their lives and not the world.
“If God has called us to do something, we can’t stand up at the end of our life and say, ‘Well, I didn’t do it because the church I went to said it was not a good idea. I didn’t do it because of my religion,'” Franklin explained. “Too often we are living for the culture, or whatever culture we’re in: family culture or religious culture, gender or race culture. Whatever the culture is that you or I may feel most beholden to, we tend to allow that culture to have the most authority over us.”
He added: “When I look at the amount of judgment in our culture, I attribute that to people not really living free lives; they’re not really living based upon the freedom of their calling and what God has put within their heart. They feel very constricted and constrained by the communities that they identify with and don’t always know how to break free.”
Based on Biblical themes and his personal experience within the church, Franklin stressed the importance of humility.
“Especially in our Christian community, when I see the lack of love of our neighbors, even those we don’t agree with that don’t agree with us, that then to me is a mirror for the lack of love of ourselves,” he explained. “In order to love our neighbor well, we have to love ourselves well. We have to accept who God created us to be. We have to love this creation called self. We have to acknowledge that we are not perfect, we don’t have it all right, we’re going to fall, we’re going to say sometimes the wrong thing. And God understands that. The only person that walked this Earth that was perfect was Jesus Himself. If we were expected to be perfect, then we wouldn’t need Jesus.”
Franklin also confessed that it is not easy to defend against the pressure of culture.
At the age of 9, Franklin’s father died from a heart attack. Franklin revealed that he turned to appear as the “perfect kid” rather than rely on God.
“That perfect kid really found value and validation through achievement,” Franklin said. “I started this kind of performance-based assessment of myself. So as long as I was achieving, I felt good, but the moments I missed the mark, I felt completely devastated.”
“The more my desire grew to impact the world and to be used by God, the more I realized that this burden of perfection was a block,” he said. “I had to kill the expectation I was going do everything right, and I had to be OK with missing the mark and making mistakes.”
Franklin also pointed to scripture and cited John 8:36, which reads: “‘So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ If I already have that assurance against the power of sin, then why then don’t we extend that assurance against the power of opinion?”
Franklin also offered advice for those struggling with anxiety.
“Take a moment to just be grateful for the moment. It’s really hard to be upset and grateful at the same time. … Appreciating today, finding the value of today, getting more content with where we are today, positions us for more peace tomorrow,” Franklin said. “Let’s not put a taboo on therapy and counseling because there are professionals that God has gifted to be able to help someone if they have some severe depression or severe anxiety that goes beyond just reading books and affirmations.”
“If you are anxious, use every tool available to you to get out of that anxious state because there’s an amazing life waiting for you on the other side of it,” he added.