Have you ever gained freedom from one thing only to rush into something else and found yourself bound again or wishing you could go back? A couple of days ago as I had just finished grocery shopping and was going to pick up my daughter from an appointment, I watched a little dog with a red collar running and bounding through the strip mall parking lot. It appeared to have escaped from a parked car and was simply ecstatic to be free. As I prepared to park my car and try to rescue the dog, I watched it jump into some tall grass that swallowed it up. Not far from the edge of the tall grass was a river, and I was afraid the dog might unsuspectingly jump into it. The dog seemed to have no sense of potential danger, only that it was free. What if it had fallen into the river or gotten lost or hit by a car? Would it have regretted its momentary lapse of restraint for a brief run in the sun? Was it truly free?
2 Peter 2:19b says, “…by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved,” which according to the context is his own desires. The dog was enslaved by its intense desire to run free. Its desire seemed to be more in control than the dog itself.
“No one is free who is a slave to the body.” —Latin proverb
“…use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” —Galatians 5:13b
I am so glad for the boundaries my loving, heavenly Father has set for me, and that He didn’t set me free to pursue things I’d begged for only to realize later how enslaving or harmful they would have been. It reminds me of the time my daughter’s dog escaped the house to run after a UPS truck and into a main road. What did she think she was gonna do with it once she caught it? I’m so glad she wasn’t hit by a car, but I couldn’t help but think of my beloved German shepherd I’d had that was free to be outside with us without a leash as well as by herself, because she knew to stay within the boundaries where it was safe and she was loved.
“To be free to sail the seven seas, you must make yourself a slave to the compass. Every freedom has a corresponding slavery. We can be free from the toothbrush and a slave to cavities or a slave to the toothbrush and free from cavities. For everything we want, we must give up something else.” – from Quiet Walk Daily e-Devotional
“We must accept responsibility in order to have true liberty.” –Ken Davis, Christian comedian