Why slavery works

pyramidsThis just says it all. It’s the opening paragraph to an article I read on LinkedIn about embracing the 4-day workweek:

TGIF is a common saying for burned out employees dreaming of the weekend. Even in the best companies, your workers always have the weekends in mind. Like a mirage in the desert, employees are going about their 9-to-5 while dreaming of those precious two days of freedom.

This is the lament of millions of corporate (and not-so-corporate) slaves in the business world hanging on in quiet desperation every day, wondering, Why did I go to school for this?

Sound familiar?

When I accepted the last job in my sad history of unfulfilling jobs I thought I had found the one. I told myself, If I can’t be happy here, I won’t be happy anywhere.

Turns out I was right.

The more I related to corporate satires like Dilbert, The Office, and Office Space, the more I wanted out.

Slavery makes sense of things

I was a creative-type trapped in an MBA. And if I was going to escape the tragicomedy of corporate life I would have to write myself out of the script — literally.

For years I measured success in salary increases, career advancement, and a progressively better lifestyle.

News Flash!

It’s not about how much money you have to live on. It’s about how little money you need to live on.

What it would feel like to be able to quit your job without worrying about money? Could you disconnect from your current context at a moment’s notice and go do something thrilling with your life?

That’s what freedom buys you.

Slavery is a necessary evil

Sometimes God has to show us quite a bit of what we don’t want in order for us to be able see what we do want. That’s what corporate life did for me. It was slavery.

Genesis 37-50 shows how God used slavery and prison to build character in a young man named Joseph. God then propelled him into leadership in Egypt. He was second only to Pharaoh himself, and God used him to basically save the known world and preserve God’s people, Israel.

Over 400 years later in Exodus 1-12 Israel had gone from honored guests in Egypt to indentured servants. Their once cushy residence in the lush land of Goshen was over. God had set the stage for them to fulfill their ultimate purpose. And by this time they were ready to go.

This cycle was often repeated in Israel’s. When they drifted from God He often reacquainted them with the devil they were cozying up to by putting them back into bondage to their enemies.

Slavery is reality

Slavery a reality of life. People are either slaves to the world (i.e. their sins) or they’ll find ultimate freedom by understanding their identity as slaves to Christ. Your choice. There’s no in between.

Israel wasn’t ready for their Promised Land. Sometimes neither are we.

Experiencing a cruel master has a way of quelling our longing to sample his seductive delicacies. Still the prosperity of those living under that yoke beacons us with exotic temptations. But don’t injure yourself breaking through God’s protective guardrails for a peek along the road to your Promised Land.

Slavery builds character

Without intentional discipleship in youth we’ll need a lot of work adulthood.

But God Himself will disciple us. He’ll catch us up on the character lessons we might have missed growing up so we can finally be useful in His mission for Christians. He will even salvage those lost years, and fill our remaining days all the joy we missed wandering in the desert.

That’s the kind of God He seems to be.

You might not choose that rough road for yourself, but you’ll not have traded it for anything in “the world.”

Slavery means better living

God created each of us with unique personalities and character traits. They fit perfectly into the good works He had planned for us from forever ago. (Eph 2:10) These good works accomplish His will, fulfill our purpose, and perfectly satisfy the true desires of each of our hearts.

What a great hope!

SO… Get out of debt. Embrace simplicity. Learn contentedness. Know God. Build character.

Then you’re no a slave to idiots. No more daily floggings working to in corporate life finance an “American Dream” that’s really just a nightmarish life of slavery.

Because YOU have options. Now you can actually hear God’s voice. Then your moment can come — when your preparation meets God’s appointment. And you’re free to do that one thing God has created you to do!

When I finished writing this, I read this devotional. Talk about confirmation!

What does slavery and freedom look like for you?

photo credit: Bruno Girin via photopin cc

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