“It’s not only others who threaten my freedom. I am a threat to my own freedom” (Peter J. Leithart).
This bit of truth reminded me of some wise words I heard one day when I spoke to a group of about 100 prisoners in our local prison.
During a question and answer session, a prisoner told me that he was more free in prison than any other place in his life. Why? Because in the prison he final came to terms with a greater prison he had been living in when he was “free.”
He said that he had lived a life of enslavement to using. He confessed to desperately trying to fill some void in his life by becoming a user of everything and everyone. Acknowledging this terrible bondage was his first step to true freedom.
Due to early losses and disappointments in life, this man lived with a dangerous sense of entitlement. He credited himself with the right to demand lifelong reimbursement from everyone and everything. Little did he know that a life of bondage to perceived and actual injuries of his past would imprison his future.
He finally learned that freedom can only be experienced when God break us of our desire to take His place by playing God. Once we learn that we are not God, we stop trying to make judgments that belong to God and we find the path that leads to true freedom.
This man had to go to jail to begin a life of freedom.
How wonderfully ironic!
- Luke 9:23-24 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
- John 12:24 “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
- Romans 14:8 “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”