Friday, March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!"  Luke 15:13-17
You probably recognize this portion of Scripture as being taken from the Parable of the Prodigal Son and it shows how one can shift from being a son to being a slave.
Here are some of the modern forms of slavery:
Achievement - being a slave to performance.
It is actually more apparent in the case of the old brother in this parable but it is rampant in our culture. While there is nothing wrong with achievement, living to achieve is a problem. When you are driven by the need to out perform everyone else in order to prove yourself it is not a healthy way to live.
As seen in the older brother, having an inordinate need to perform and achieve usually is driven by unrealistic goals and results in frequent frustration.
Affirmation - being a slave to popularity.

Both sons seemed to care more about what others thought of them than the approval of the father.

The approval and validation of others is a powerful influence in life. It is important to everyone but seems to be an obsession for some who define their self-worth based upon what others think of them.

Do you care about the Father's opinion or are you a slave to the need for man's approval?

Adherence - being a slave to legalism..

In the two sons you see both extremes in regard to rules. The older son kept them all with a critical heart and the younger brother rebelled with a careless heart. As a result, neither them enjoyed the love of their father.

Legalism supposes that keeping rules can result in holiness. The law-breaker believes that casting off rules will result in happiness.

Each is a slave to misconception.

Addiction - being a slave to appetites.

When you think of addiction you most likely think about abuse of chemical substances. More often than not, that is the case.

Certain personality types lend themselves to addiction, but those drawn into addiction are drawn by a need to feel good and escape from emotional, physical or psychological pain. They begin using the pain-killers but soon abuse them. In an attempt to escape momentarily from pain they become a slave to a great source of pain - addiction.

Addiction is perhaps the most harmful form of selfishness - unless you become addicted to Jesus.

I am glad slavery in America was abolished 150 years ago. I look forward to a day when slavery of the soul is abolished.

For you, that day could be today.


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