Thursday, January 6, 2011
Slave or Free?
Good masters treated their slaves with kindness and provided homes, food, clothing and the other necessities of life for them. Ideally, slaves worked for their master diligently and they were rewarded with having their needs met. And so today we work at a job to pay for a place to call home, food to fill our bellies, clothes for our bodies and the other little necessities of life. We can choose our own vocation, abode, cuisine, and creature comforts but generally we have a boss (master)--if you are self-employed you have customers--that tell you what is expected of you in return for a paycheck. If you owe money on your home, have a car loan or credit cards you are bound to the work force in order to keep these items. So how is this not a form of self induced slavery? How “free” are we really?
What is “freedom”? Merriam-Webster defines freedom as: a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
As Christians and servants of The Most High we are called to a beautiful form of bond-slavery. We submit ourselves willingly to do the will of the Lord. But many times we put ourselves in a position, when we acquire debt, that makes it difficult to follow His leading. It’s not that the Lord doesn’t want us to have possessions, but rather that we should not be bound to them due to debt.
How is this even done in our day? With much self-denial and wisdom, I suppose. When you’re not “keeping up with the Joneses” or “needing” to have the latest, most expensive whatever, it’s a much easier task. Bottom line: Debt is bondage!!
One of my goals for 2011 is to live much more simply/frugally than in past years and to become much more self-sufficient. Not having the ability to truly be free to live life--to be bound to “forced labor” certainly isn’t where we intended for our family to end up (as are the feelings of the average US citizen, I‘m sure). So in learning these hard lessons, I don’t think that it is an unreasonable goal to work to be out of debt in 10-12 years. I haven’t put it all down on paper or come to any concrete conclusions yet--still mulling it all over in my head.
I pray that 2011 will be more prosperous for our family that we may ease a little closer to true freedom!