๐Ÿ‘‘ Walk, Don’t Run! ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฝ

โ€œโ€ฆas the Lord hath called every one,ย so let him walkโ€ฆย Art thou called being a servant?ย Care not for itโ€ฆโ€ (I Corinthiansย 7:17,21).

Some Christians find it troubling that the Bible counsels slaves to beย contentย in their difficult circumstances, andย walk inย obedience to their masters rather thanย run away from them in rebellion (Eph. 6:5; Col.ย 3:22). But there were legitimate reasons why men were slaves in those days, and God has never been in favor of freeing โ€œa lawful captiveโ€ from his owner (Isa. 49:24).

The Apostle Paulย did tell slaves, โ€œif thou mayest be made free,ย use it ratherโ€ (I Cor.ย 7:21). For example, if a man was a slave because he was working off his financial debts, if someone offered to pay his debts, this was benevolence that no servant should ignore. But if there was no legitimate means by which a servant could be made free, it was Godโ€™s will that he walk in the calling wherewith he had been called (I Cor.ย 7:17).

Of course, unbelievers think that this isย terrible advice, and they arenโ€™t shy about criticizing the Bible for not encouraging slaves to run away from their masters. But thatโ€™s because theyโ€™re thinking of the kind of slavery that existed in the early days of our country, when innocent people wereย kidnapped from Africa and brought here as slaves to serve in an illegitimate form of bondage. This type of slavery isย condemned in Scripture, and those who dared perpetrate it in Israel were given the death penalty (Ex.ย 21:16). Yet even when men were kidnapped and wrongfully enslaved, Paulโ€™s advice to be content in servitude was good counsel, for often it was just not possible for slaves to escape bondage, and God does not wish His children to live lives of abject frustration and misery.

But if you are thinking that it is equally impossible to โ€œcare notโ€ for being a slave, consider the counsel that Paul went on to give servants in the very next verse,

โ€œFor he that is called in the Lord, being a servant,ย is the Lordโ€™s freemanโ€ฆโ€ (I Cor.ย 7:22).

The key to finding contentment as a slave was to remember thatย believingย slaves were free men in the eyes of the Lord. In other words, the secret to being content in the harsh circumstances of bondage was for servants to lookย pastย their circumstances and focus on how God saw them in Christ. That is, when slaves couldnโ€™t change their circumstances, the key to contentment was to change how theyย thought about their circumstances.

Now, is there anything you can learn from that aboutย your difficult circumstances? Sometimes our situation in life canโ€™t be changed any more than a slave could change his. Of course, if thereย isย a legitimate means by which you might be made free from your difficulties, by all means do what Paul told slaves to do with such an opportunity and โ€œuse it.โ€ But if you canโ€™t change your circumstances, why not follow Paulโ€™s advice and change the way you think about them?

If life has you feeling like a captive for whom there is no escape, never lose sight of the spiritual reality that you are โ€œthe Lordโ€™s freeman.โ€ Focusing on the problems that have you feeling imprisoned will only make you as miserable as the slave who focused on his. Focusing on โ€œthe liberty wherewith Christ hath made us freeโ€ (Gal. 5:1) is the only path to rejoicing.

Itโ€™s the secret of life. source

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