Last week, I came into the kitchen and my son was sitting in the dog’s crate. It’s a fairly large crate and he had crawled inside and shut the door. My first response was hysterical laughter! What in the world was he doing in there?! Then I got the camera and took pictures (as every good mother would do!). Since then, it has become one of his new favorite places to hang out.
To our dog, however, the crate isn’t a place he wants to be. The dog is held captive when he is in the crate. He is confined and trapped with no way out. Carter, on the other hand, freely chooses to crawl inside the same crate, but to him, it’s not a place of captivity. He is free to scoot around, stand up, sit down, open and shut the gate, and simply enjoy the crate. He can get out any time he chooses.
Just like the crate, there are things in life that can be freedom to some and captivity to others. For many, the internet is a valuable resource that connects them to the world. They freely maneuver between websites and social media. To others who struggle with the tempatation of lust and pornography, it can be a source of great captivity. The same goes for alcohol. There are people who can freely stop after one drink while others can’t. Those that can’t are held captive by alcohol. Sugar and fatty foods play the same roll and I’m sure you can probably think of several others.
Things that hold you captive are not just bad habits; they are sin. Anything that has such a hold on you that you can’t tear loose has taken the front seat in your life over God. To some people, what you struggle with may not even be an issue, but to you, it holds you hostage. You are trapped in the dog’s crate. But, Jesus came to set the captives free. Search your life. Is there anything that you have tried to beat on your own? Instead of fighting alone, take it to God and then find some accountability.
Then on the other side of the coin, what you freely indulge in may be an area of great temptation to another. You might be the one that has no trouble spending hours online. Maybe alcohol has never been a controlling factor. Or maybe sugar is not something you have to stay away from. Be sensitive to those around you. Know what your friends and family struggle with and try not to be a source of temptation to them. How considerate is it to invite a friend who struggles with sugar addiction over for a cupcake tasting party? Get the picture?
So, one person’s freedom could be another’s captivity. Know yourself. Know your friends. And let’s try to live in a way that honors God with every area of our lives.