Why would anyone choose to become a slave voluntarily?
However, before I got baptized, I was a slave to smoking, without even realizing it.
When I was smoking, I thought I had “freedom” – the ability to choose what I like to do. Little do I know, by choosing deliberately to smoke, I have became a slave to the addiction.
To be a “slave” is to become “the legal property of another, and forced to obey”.
In this case, smoking has became my “Master” :
– I get anxious when I was running out of cigarettes; I always made sure that I bought enough to stock up so that I will never be in a situation when I have no more cigarettes to smoke.
– the first thing in the morning when I woke up is to look for cigarettes, and I have to give excuses to go out to look for places to smoke immediately after meals.
– when I travel long distances on the plane, I have to made sure that I have nicotine patches or gums so that I will not have withdrawal symptoms.
I have no freedom. My life is preoccupied of where to buy cigarettes and where I can smoke. I tell lies and give excuses, just so I can feed my addiction. I was a slave.
And that is what Sin does to us.
It makes us become slaves.
Whether it is the pursuits of power and pride, or addictions to drugs and lust, we become slaves and serve these Sins as our master instead of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan disguises sins so well that we are very often not aware, until we are deeply rooted in slavery:
– that new promotion and more responsibilities rob us of our time with God, and very soon we refuse to give up our job’s demands because it feeds us money and pride;
– that occasional peep at soft-porn is “no big deal” until it becomes a bigger addiction; &
– that self-serving anger is “justified” because “they are in the wrong”, until we hurt all those we want to love.
And it is really on hindsight, now that I have been baptized and understand God’s “Freedom”, that I realized that I have consciously chosen to be a slave previously!!
God’s “Freedom” is to set us free from slavery by obeying His commandments. When we choose to be in God’s light, the darkness can no longer keep us as slaves.
I used to think that how by following a set of rules can give us freedom, especially when Jesus’s standards are set so high (Matthew 5:28)!!
But now I understand:
To be truly “Free” is not to be able to choose what we like, but to be able to choose what is right.
True “Freedom” is to break those chains of bondage of sins, and live in the light.
When we serve the one true Master, we have nothing more to hide.
Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
I am still a sinner. I have not lived in total lightness. In many ways, I am still a slave to sin. But God has given me the assurance:
1 Corinthians 10:13b “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
And I know that as a pilgrim on earth, it is my lifelong journey to learn to be more Holy, to be more Christ-like, and to be His disciple.
And I have faith, that with God’s grace & mercy, and with you, my fellow brothers & sisters in Christ, I will not be alone in this journey to escape slavery from sin.