There is tyranny in enslavement

Published 10:35 am Monday, May 15, 2017

Nothing invokes more outrage than the thought of a fellow human being forced into servitude.

Wars have been fought to stop such a practice. Yet, every day, like lemmings creeping over a cliff, we see hundreds of people step up and volunteer to be slaves.

You say, “Really!? Somebody should do something.”

What if this is self-imposed slavery?

There is a statement tucked away in the Old Testament of the Bible that says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). We heartily agree with the first part, perhaps even shaking our fist at the dominant rich, but we hardly bat an eyelash at signing our name on the dotted line to buy something we cannot afford so we can meet what we believe to be an “urgent” need.

Borrowing money is not outright condemned as one of the cardinal sins, because borrowing may be justified in cases where the item purchased has some chance of appreciating in value. Buying a home would be one such case.

But the Bible principle is in place. Any debt puts you at the service of the lender.

We would all condemn those horrendous slave ships that plied the coast of Africa to capture people and haul them off to be sold like cattle, then treated worse than any owner would treat livestock.

Hardly anybody we know these days is being forced into slavery, but we all know those who readily volunteer by falling prey to sharp advertising, enticing talk and our own inner urge to possess. The American dream is largely financed with little down and hefty monthly payments.

What can we do?

The answer sounds simple, but it is not easy.

We must learn to say “no” to impulse. We must develop patience and wisdom to know when and how to procure what we really need.

The real bottom line is to ask ourselves at every point of purchase, “Do I really want to accept bondage to have this item, now?” There is a freedom knowing, when you pillow your head each night, that I do not owe anybody anything, but to love the next person God puts in front of me.

That is freedom. That encourages peace of mind.

Dan Puckett works with road team operations at Life Action Ministries in Buchanan, Michigan.