Well, yesterday's devotional that I read and posted was about people pleasing. There is a line in today's too.
"If pleasing people is your goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh task-masters when you give them this power over you."
That got me thinking... it's not just people pleasing that can enslave us.
There are several:
1. People pleasing - wanting everyone to like you or for you to make everyone happy
2. Food - of course we have to eat, but some people have an unhealthy relationship with it
3. Alcohol - a little is not bad, the Bible speaks out on getting drunk, but some people can become enslaved to it and how it makes them feel
4. Shopping - some people get this little "high" feeling when they shop. They buy things they do not need just because of how it makes them feel.
5. Sex - yes, I went there. Sex has become such a huge thing in some people's lives. They get obsessed with it. They might use pornography, or just sleep around with a bunch of people, whichever.. the point is, they become enslaved to how it makes them feel. Sex in and of itself is not bad. But if we do it God's way, it's better. I am not judging, I have done my share of mistakes.
6. Exercise - I am going to tread lightly on this.. you know how much I love Zumba. But I am not enslaved to it. I use it to be healthy. Some people allow exercise to be their main focus in life. Sometimes, they want to be better than someone else, which is a wrong motive for exercising.
7. Being Too Busy - do you feel like you have to always be doing something? If you are so busy with stuff, even "Christian" stuff, you could be enslaved to being busy. We need to rest.
8. Attention - Do you feel the need to have other people's attention? Do you post stuff on Facebook just to see how many likes you can get? Are you focused on yourself and what you can get from others? That's not healthy.
These are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. Anything that we put in God's place in our lives can enslave us. That is not what He wants for our lives.
You can't even let your rituals or traditions for God enslave you. It's a relationship. You pray, you listen, you read the Bible, He talks. It's not about jumping through this hoop or over that hurdle to hear from God. It's not about being at church every single time the doors are open and doing a certain thing to get God to hear you. God is always listening. He is always there. It's us that become enslaved to the wrong things and allow those things to pull us away from Him.
Have you allowed something to enslave you?
Identify it and get it gone!
Allow God to fill that space in your heart that you are trying to fill with other things. He loves you so much. Nothing you can do will make Him love you any less. Just like nothing you can do will make Him love you any more.
You are DEARLY loved by Him. Just because you are you.