The problem is we think we understand captivity and we think we know what it’s like to be free. However, it's amazing what we allow to bind us up and hinder us from being truly free. We walk around demanding our right to be free yet our actions dictate otherwise. How we live our lives and the fact that we are held captive by so many influences paints a picture of being bound by self-installed chains. Our love of money, our addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, and food all bind us in the chains of those afflictions replacing a freedom available to all.
Think about it, being addicted to something whether it’s smoking, drinking, drugs, food, or gambling or whatever is anything but a freedom. Yes, we had the freedom to choose to do those things but after that what about them is free? Is getting lung cancer from smoking being free? Having a heart attack from being overweight is that being free? Having to steal and do all sorts of things to feed a drug habit is that being free? Being influenced by alcohol and wasting your body away one drink at a time is that being free? No, they are anything but true freedom they are a path to captivity. It’s bondage to a substance that has us under its control in spite of those who say, “Oh I can quit anytime.” Then do it!
The freedom to choose to have Christ in our lives stays that way, a true freedom. It’s a freedom from bitterness, anger, selfishness, greed, hatred, inner turmoil, stress, and being under the control of other elements of life other than ourselves and Christ. Christ came to set us free yet we continue to live within the captivity of our actions and attitude. Why is that? It doesn't have to be that way if we just would just turn our lives over to Christ. We don't need to be held hostage by alcohol, tobacco, food, or emotions if we don't want to be. I was told once by a friend that if I wanted to lose weight, truly loses weight I would do it. I was insulted. She was crazy I wanted to lose weight but I just couldn't do it. It took me awhile but I found out she was right. As much as I said I wanted to lose weight my addiction to food was stronger and greater. I wasn't willing to give up what I loved so much to do and that was eat.
Another problem we have is having the wrong idea of what freedom is. Too often people look at freedom as an excuse to run wild and do whatever they want at any cost. Little do they know that eventually what happens is they bind themselves up worse in the long run taking away what they thought they were fighting for, their freedom.
We need to appreciate the freedoms we have for what they are. In the United States we have enjoyed our freedom for over 200 years. Unfortunately people are beginning to forget what that freedom means to us and what it is exactly our founding fathers set up for us. Little by little we are beginning to bind ourselves up with our own chains.
It would do us well to get a taste of the freedom Christ supplies for us that takes us away from the captivity of sin and rewards us with eternal life and everlasting peace with Him. This kind of freedom is hard to find and shouldn't be taken lightly.
The choice becomes ours. God has given us that freedom to choose. We just need to remember for every choice we make there are consequences both good and bad. Think before you leap, consider what’s ahead and proceed with caution, faith, and trust in God our source of true freedom.
In other words, the chains we feel are not from God they are installed by our own choices. The sooner we own up to that fact that sooner we can get them removed thanks to God.
Chained or unchained, there is no choice that falls between the two. We are either free or bound, chained or unchained. When we fall alive into eternity it’s going to make a difference.
© 2012 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Publishing Journey On Our Knees
***The picture I used today was painted by our youth minister at the church, Darin Hollingsworth. Thanks Darin! Job well done.