Slave

hippie-man-with-long-hair

There were many myths floating around in the 1960s and 70s, and I believed most of them. At the top of the list was the belief that our generation was entering into “the age of Aquarius.” We were starting a great struggle for freedom. We would be nothing like our parents, bound to jobs, material possessions, and middle-class bourgeois morality. We would be free men and women and “love would rule the stars.”

It all fit so well into my psychology because I was a young man bound by fears and anxieties. My family was dysfunctional (the term has been used so often that its almost become trite to use it) and I had a lot of anger and self-hatred. I didn’t believe that there was anything that I could do well.

I discovered that if I used humor, I could feel a lot better about myself. If I could get a pretty girl to smile or laugh, then no matter how ugly I felt, at least I had a chance. If I made a group of people laugh, then I felt accepted. Of course, if it meant that my jokes became ever more crude, sexual, or racist to keep them laughing, then so be it.

This was the age of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”, and so I didn’t leave it at humor. This sinful trinity became a way to escape from the fear, pain, and self-hatred that lurked in my heart. Oh, I didn’t know that I was self-medicating, but instead, I believed that all of this was my way of proving that I was a free hippy, a new age man who was “slipping away from the surly bonds of earth.”

In reality, I made myself a slave and the shackles by which I bound myself were terrible indeed.  Its funny how you can be in chains and think that you are free. Ah, Mr. Scrooge.

I read this verse of Scripture some time ago and it shocked me.  It shocked me because it was like a mirror in which I saw my whole life.  Consider:  “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”  (Hebrews 2:14-15)

At first, I found the idea that the devil had the power of death most objectionable. But then I realized that the power comes from fear, and by fear the devil is able to bind me to sins. When I consider the fears that ran rampant in my heart from my earliest years, it is now clear to me why I became such a slave.

Death takes on many forms. I can die spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially, mentally, etc. Therefore, I am anxious and fearful about most everything. Here some examples: would any woman ever really love me; would I be smart enough to make good grades ; would I ever be fast enough, strong enough, handsome enough, thin enough, tall enough, rich enough, cool enough, religious enough, etc? The devil uses these fears to bind me to my sins.

My greatest fear was that when all was said and done, my whole life would have been a sham and a waste. Then I would face an angry god who would punish me for wasting the gift that he gave me. What to do then? Easy! “Eat, drink, and be merry: for tomorrow we die.”

The first thing that Adam and Eve did after eating from the Tree was to hide in the bushes because they were afraid. Well, we are all still hiding behind the bushes. I have my hiding place and you have yours. The problem is that when you are behind the bush, the demons beat the crap out of you and your sins tear you to pieces. The only thing that keeps me behind the bush is fear. After all, its my belief that if you ever really saw me in the bright light of day, you would run off screaming at the sight. That’s my fear, anyway.

In another blog, I will talk about how Christ changes all of this. It is interesting, however, that a Man nailed to a Cross will show me how to be free

 


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