By now you may have heard of another school related incident where a school bus driver (Charles Poland Jr.) was gunned down (see my last blog article) by an assailant who then kidnapped a five year old boy and has been holding him hostage. What a sad incident that has been capturing more and more media attention. We pray and trust that this man will come to his senses and release the boy and turn himself in! As I mentioned in my last article, we should not be people that try to push our way so much that we force others to do things against their will. While you may have never experienced such a drastic hostage situation, perhaps you have found yourself feeling as though you were trapped—feeling as though you have been taken hostage!
It certainly is not good to feel trapped! Perhaps you remember some time as a child when you were stuck in a closet or trapped somehow by a sibling? No doubt you have had an experience where someone tried to force you to do something you did not want to do. Maybe you never have been kidnapped or taken hostage, but you likely have had that feeling of being trapped in a bad financial situation or even in a bad relationship. What about your job? Have you ever felt like a hostage there? Regardless, you should be able to at least somewhat relate to being taken hostage.
None of us really likes for others to tell us what to do. We are individuals. We are independent people with a will that will make hundreds, if not thousands of choices every day. Though it is sometimes necessary, it is not natural to have another person make decisions for you. Each of us is a self-willed creation. GOD created us this way. We have a will—an ability to determine choices. We are not absolutely free to do whatever we want or to violate the laws of Nature GOD has created, but we are free to make many decisions; decisions which impact the way our life goes. There is a problem we all have, though; a problem which we personally had no choice over, but one which does impact each of us. We have been taken hostage!
Maybe you don’t believe it? Maybe you think nobody is going to tell you what to do! That is naïve at best. The fact is that we all have others to make some decisions for us and we ourselves, at least at times, choose wrongly. Sometimes we even realize it before we choose and still choose wrongly. That is sin (see James 4:17). We all are sinners by nature (through Adam) and sinners by choice (c.f. Romans 5:12; James 1:14, 15; I John 1:8). All of us sin and fall short of GOD’s Glory and what HIS Will is for us (e.g. Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). We have been taken hostage by a fallen nature that wills us to choose to do wrong.
Friend, maybe you will never be taken hostage like this boy in Alabama, but you must realize your need to be freed from the spiritual hostage situation you are in. Our Creator made it possible for us to be freed from our self-serving, sinful nature. Jesus Christ came to earth and gave His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for your sin and mine. HE rose from the dead to prove His Deity and make our justification possible (see Romans 4:25). HE makes it possible for you to be free to serve others and not simply try to gain something over them or control them. Once you are set free in Christ, you no longer have to be held hostage to your sinful nature (see Ephesians 2:1-10). It is then a matter of choice to what nature you will yield (c.f. Romans 6:11-13). You have been taken hostage and you will either be a hostage to your sinful self-will and that of others or else to The Savior, Who died to free and redeem you from the bondage of man. What could be better than being taken hostage by your loving Creator?