By Becky Jungkuntz

“We’ve never been slaves to anyone!  We have Abraham as our father.”

I’ve never been a slave to anyone!
Why I’m an LCMS Lutheran.

I’ve never been a slave to anyone!
I know the difference between law and gospel.

I’ve never been a slave to anyone.
I’ve been going to church all my life.

Yet Jesus said that anyone who sins is a slave to sin. What particular sins enslave me;  perfectionism, impatience, lack of compassion, self-centeredness?  Are they really that bad?  Do they really enslave? Jesus says they do.

Jesus says that I need to be set free.

Today’s sermon said that a slave has no control, no identity, and lives in pain.  When I continue to sin, subtly but surely, I lose control, lose identity and live in pain.

As I was listening to the message, I was challenged to think of my own bondage and the freedom that Jesus has won for me. I was also challenged to think of the bondage of those around me, those I might know who don’t know or understand the message of freedom and truth that Jesus offers.

Last week we were challenged by Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge to pray without giving up. One of the things that the pastor asked was whether we were simply praying so that our lives would be more comfortable, or were we praying for God’s Kingdom to come in our lives.

This weekend I was angry and frustrated with a person who did not meet a deadline, who didn’t meet my standard of perfection. Why did this have to happen to me? I prayed. My heart was hard towards this individual. Yet, I’m aware that there’s family turmoil, addiction, poor health, and other issues in that person’s life.

During the sermon I clearly felt that the reason this person is in my life, is so that I will pray for this individual –  pray in faith for deliverance from the bondage of sin. Am I only praying for my own comfort, or am I praying for God’s kingdom and deliverance to come not only in my life, but also in the lives of those whom I meet?

Thank you, Jesus, for continuing to free me from caring more about my own comfort than the lives of the hurting around me. That you, that I do not have to live in slavery, but dare to live in the freedom as a daughter of God!