Archives for posts with tag: Slavery

For the past few weeks, I have been itching to write a series. In the past, I have written several, but recently I have not been able to find the time to commit to writing one.  However, the topic, “I am not a Slave,” has been resting on my heart for some time.  So, tonight, I figured I would give it a go.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery,” (Galatians 5:1, NIV).  In our fallen world, there are so many things in our lives that have come to take us captive.  War is constantly being waged against our freedom.  Fear, regret, pain, poverty, past failures or world systems are just a few of the strategies that the enemy employs to attempt to reel us into slavery.  Today, we will highlight one of the greatest enemies of freedom: The tongue.

“The tongue can bring death or life” (Proverbs 18:21, NLT).  In the beginning of time, God said, “Let there be light,” and so it was.  In just a few words, God spoke life into existence.  I believe that much our lives’ path is determined by the words we speak over ourselves.  Unfortunately, the perils of life have caused many of us to have suffered temporary, spiritually blindness and spiritual amnesia, which have manifested in our speech.  Our declarations have become influenced by our past and current circumstances.  We forget that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  We forget that the same God who delivered us from the valley of the shadow of death yesterday is the same God who, today, declares Jeremiah 29:11 over our lives: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’” (NIV).  In our amnesia and blindness, we have a tendency to decree failure over ourselves.  This altered state also allows us to tolerate the actions of those who speak words of destruction over our lives.  Unfortunately, we fail to realize that our negative words have the power to prophesy a yoke of bondage and slavery over our lives and our future.

Today, I decree that we are not slaves to our tongues.  We should recognize that our words are powerful.  They can shape how we, and others, respond to the world around us.  Our words can build up or they can tear down.  Today, I ask that we use foundational words that can positively impact our lives and the lives of generations to come.

Wasn’t technology supposed to make our lives better and easier?  Clearly, that isn’t always the case.  Nowadays, it seems as if our lives are even more complicated than ever before.  The limits of our boundaries are constantly being ebbed away.  The idea of personal and family time has almost been obliterated.  That person who dares to leave work at exactly 5:00 p.m. is either a trailblazer or simply lazy.  Whatever happened to the days when our free time was just that—free?  Once upon a time, we were not slaves to our cell phones or emails.  People didn’t always have an expectation that others should immediately beckon to their every request.  Today’s employees, particularly those who are salaried, are expected to be available around the clock.  Somewhere throughout the course of employment, an employee’s negotiated, and agreed upon, hours of employment became blurred and transcended into a 24-hour service.  Over time, there became an unspoken, and sometimes verbalized, expectation that employees should come in early and leave late.  Don’t even think about leaving “on time” if you ever want to be considered for promotion.  Doing so would almost always guarantee that you would be placed at the bottom of any promotion list.

 

Before I continue, I must make one disclaimer.  Generally speaking, this post is geared solely towards honest, hard-working people, not individuals who go to work to buy time between paychecks and whose morning and evening clock outs rotate around their 20 coffee, water and bathroom breaks.  It’s not geared towards those who approach work and life with a sense of entitlement and a spirit of mediocrity.  While those individuals might go through the motions of pretending to work, their attention and focus are usually elsewhere.  Those individuals are usually toxic and, almost always, help to further tax and over burden their co-workers, who then inadvertently take on their share of the workload.  I digress.

 

Diminishing boundaries are stifling our quality of life and potentially the productivity that we so desire. It is impossible to continuously perform at a 100 percent capacity without hitting our refresh or reset keys. Think about our computer programs.  Sometimes, in order to get them on the right track, we have to restart the program, which require that the computer is complete turned off.  As far as I know, there is no way to partially restart a computer.  Every terminal action is usually an attempt to force a program to quit and start over.  In our personal lives, the end of each day should be an opportunity to quit and start over.  However, too often, our days and nights have become one continuous blur.  Many of us in corporate America have become slaves to the grind.  We have become slaves to capitalism.  However, Christ did not die on the cross for us to be slaves.  Galatians 5:1 says, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law,” (NLT).  It is important that we heighten our awareness of the things in our lives that challenges our freedom and try to draw us back into the confines of slavery.  We have to constantly reaffirm that we are not slaves.  We are free.  Christ died on the cross so that we could be free.  We are not slaves!  I am not a slave!

 

 

I have no inalienable right to question the things that I do not understand, for even among the best minds, comprehension is finite. Moreover, challenging the universe has led great men to even greater madness. The world around us is terribly complex and complicated. One of the hardest things to comprehend is human wickedness. Evil is ubiquitous. The seed of deception is often veiled by the garb of statues, religion, customs and institutionalized policies. Buried deep within all of us is the ability to delve deep into the clutches of wickedness. The pride inside me wants to say that some of us are closer to darkness’ grasp than others. The truth is, all of us have the potential for grave depravity. We all have catalyst(s) that could potentiate our fury. With that said, I guess it’s good that God offers salvation, even to the worse of us.

The carnal part of my mind (and my heart) doesn’t believe that heaven should be afforded to everyone, especially those who have committed heinous crimes against humans and humanity. My mortal nature would like to see those individuals “pay” and “suffer” for their misdeeds.

A few moments ago, I watched a movie on one of America’s greatest atrocities—slavery. My heart ached at the thought of the tragedies afflicted upon my ancestors. What was even worse was that many of those slave masters/owners were Bible toting proclaimers of the faith. They raped! They stole! They killed the spirits of a generation. Some of them used the name of God to do it. As I continued to watch the movie, a horrifying thought came across my mind. Their evil actions do not necessarily disqualify them from receiving salvation. Wow, there goes that five-letter “G” word again. Grace. In that moment, I realized that grace is bigger than me. It’s bigger than my feeble mind can comprehend. Here is what I learned: I might not know why God does the things that He does. I might not even agree with them. However, one thing I do know is that it would take a lot to disqualify me from the love of God. That’s huge. That’s bigger than everything. Again, the pride inside of me wants to say that I could never be as wicked as some of those other people. I don’t need all that grace. The truth is, grace is the best insurance policy ever created. The aggregate policy limit is greater than any debt we could ever incur.

Sometimes, it is hard to see God beyond the people who profess His name. In a culture where people try to politicize and “demonify” God, it’s hard to extract Him from religion. But when we do, we realize just how merciful God is. He is impartial. If He could forgive the unforgiveable, imagine what He could do for you!