Independence Day observes the beginning of our nation no longer under the rule of another. Webster defines independence as “the state of not being subject to the control of others…self-governing…not requiring or relying on something else…not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct…” We like the sound of being independent! However, when America became free from Britain rule, America did not throw all government out the window. There were laws to be followed and order to be implemented. I’ve been thinking about this idea as it relates to our Christian liberty, and I’m not the first. Paul wrote in Romans 6:16, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” In John 8:34, Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” The idea here, is habitual sin, though we sometimes revert back to our old habits even when we’re free. Webster defines addiction: “to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively.”
Consider that besetting sin in your life, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Maybe it’s lack of financial discipline. Maybe it’s gossip. When I surrender to the sale racks for items I don’t need or to the temporary pleasure I experience at the cost of slandering a sister in Christ, I do not typically think about myself being addicted. In fact, the first things that come to mind when I think about addictions are drugs, alcohol and prostitution, as those are the issues common to the women I work with on Tuesday nights who have been incarcerated for these behaviors. I do not have addictions to these things, so I often let myself off the hook. In fact, most of us wouldn’t perceive our behaviors as addictions, I’d like to argue that we may need to think outside the box (or should I say bottle) a little bit. As Eve was deceived in the garden, I too, find myself believing that I’m missing out on great things, and I have erroneously indulged. I should see HUGE RED FLAGS flying when I start thinking this way, because Psalm 84:11 says, “…no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless...” But oftentimes I allow untruth to set me in bondage rather than listening to the “truth that will set me free” (John 8:32). I surrender to the temptation and many times become addicted. May our addiction to sin be liberated as we enslave ourselves to righteousness. May we live with liberty...under God.