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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Captivity vs. Freedom

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of captivity and freedom. This has nothing to do with politics or the state of any nation, although I do believe there are a lot of political messes out there. I'm talking about us as individuals and the freedoms we enjoy or the captivities in which we find ourselves ensnared.

So I've come to this conclusion: Any time we should do something, but it looks like a captivity or confinement, it probably leads to freedom. And any time we don't do something because we want to be free, it probably leads to captivity. Clear as mud?

Suppose I want the freedom from counting calories or watching what I eat? I know this one from experience -- I have never counted calories because it feels like too much of a burden. What does this "freedom" lead to? Captivity. Captivity of a body that has health problems. Captivity of a body that doesn't move as quickly or as freely as I'd like. Captivity of tiredness because my body is not fit. Dang -- that freedom didn't turn out as I wanted it to.

This applies to so many things: Suppose I want the freedom of no budget. I will be led to the captivity of debt, which can quickly become overwhelming. However, suppose I am captive/confined to living within a budget. My credit rocks. I can qualify for loans as necessary. I don't have interest to pay. I have retirement to live on instead of being captive to working past retirement age. I will eventually be able to do more because of limiting myself now. So what seems confining can actually lead to freedom.

This applies to so much in the gospel. Want "freedom" as a teenager to do what you want? You risk the captivity of STDs, drug addiction and screwing up your entire life (and your kids' lives as well). You want the freedom of doing your own thing instead of serving others? You risk the captivity of selfishness and loneliness.

So why do we fall for it and sometimes do those very things that lead to captivity? Because Satan is that good. He has a plan, and his plan is to put us into captivity at any cost. He has a way of taking something that leads to freedom and making it look so hard and confining that we do what's easier NOW and what feels better in the moment ... which is what always leads to captivity. What a cunning, yet convincing, liar he is!

This all reminds me of a quote my mom kept on the fridge growing up: "The greatest source of unhappiness is giving up that which we want most for that which we want at the moment." So true! In doing all of this thinking I hope I can detect satan's lies more completely and beat him at his own game by choosing truth, even though it's generally more difficult in the moment. After all, the truth will make us free -- spiritually, physically and emotionally.


Leslie said...

Man, you are smart.

Brown Family said...

Smart aleck ...

the Rowleys said...

Good thoughts. :) Thanks.

Rebecca said...

Amen, amen, amen!! If only teenagers could understand the long-term value of discipline. Hard work in school (including college) actually makes the rest of your life SOOO much easier and gives you so much freedom. I like the idea of captivity vs. freedom; I've always thought of it as a sort of delayed gratification. The end result is always more rewarding when you put the hard work first!