It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
There’s been a lot of talk (and screaming) about slavery the last few years. Some people stating that relatives of people who were enslaved in the United States prior to 1862 – over 150 years ago – should receive financial contribution from people who have never owned a slave. The details of this idea get quite complicated. Which new government department will receive millions or billions of dollars in funding to manage this program? How would it be proven someone was a relative of a slave? Would people whose relatives didn’t live in the United States prior to 1862 be required to contribute? I saw one estimate, based on a city government’s financial proposal, that in the end the recipients would actually receive a paltry sum.
Is slavery bad? Absolutely. Does it go on still today in many forms? Yes. As a Christian we should all know the dirty secret of slavery. Our individual submission to sin causes the most destructive and widespread slavery of all – placing our souls in shackles. In some cases, that sin leads to what we think of as “traditional” slavery – the illicit sex trade, illegal employment practices, and more.
There’s really only one answer to eradicating slavery – Jesus. So today I praise God that He and He alone offers us freedom. The true freedom we all need. Freedom from the slavery of sin.
For me, I still have to work daily with God on not willingly putting back on the shackles of fear and worry and doubt. Of pride and selfishness. Of allowing my flesh to rule my life. Giving in to those sins causes me to treat others in very non Jesus-like ways. When I focus on myself, I take my eyes off serving others and helping them out of slavery. When my feelings are hurt, I want to hurt others. When I’m really worried or afraid I might pour myself another drink.
Each day I turn to God and commune with Him He gives me strength to shake off those shackles. Each day when tempted to fall back into my sin I can proclaim with Him that I am free at last no matter my physical circumstance. For some, an extra $100 or so either given out of their pocket or given to their pocket might feel like enough. But for me, no amount of money can ever replace God’s gift of freedom.