Michele Corgiat
marriage and family therapist
Choosing My Shackles
by Michele Corgiat on November 18th, 2015

As you may remember, going back to your early Sunday School days, the children of Israel had been slaves to Egypt for approximately 400 years.  They lived a life of submission to the Egyptians, where the Israelites were used and abused and shackled by their keepers.  Upon being freed from slavery, you would think that they would have rejoiced and glorified God with every miracle he provided.  God’s chosen people would instead, accept God’s grace and provisions only to doubt Him when life became difficult, yearning to go back to the old life of shackles.  

Fast forward thousands of years.  We still struggle with these doubts and lack trust in God.  He delivers us, shows us his mighty power, provides for our every need and rescues us from slavery of sin.  How often do we choose to go back to the sin that shackles us? Why do we struggle?

Familiarity.  We are attracted the known versus the unknown.  Although our life without God is a mess, it is what too many of us often know as our normal.  The new path that God is leading can seem scary. But God has made you a new creation.  You are not who you used to be and have no business going back those old places. Let’s start by talking about the physical places that you go.  Does a recovering alcoholic have any business going to hang out in a bar? NO!!!  Then why do we go back to unhealthy people in our lives, places that foster a negative attitude  How about those emotional places we shackle ourselves to?   Whether pride or self doubt, control or shamefulness.  Those old places that feel too familiar are not where God desires for you to reside.  

Fear.  “You are asking me to do what?!?!?”,  can be our response to God’s calling on our life. The familiar has a comfortable draw but the comfort is short lived.  It doesn’t take long to remember why we fled from this life of slavery.

Life is hard.  We live in a broken world and we are broken people.  As much as we would like to pretend that we have it all together, on our own, we are lacking.  We instead try to ignore the difficulties and avoid our pain by shackling ourselves to an addiction, lifestyle choices, or unhealthy coping skills.  These are all shackles that envelop our lives and steal us from living a life of freedom in Christ.   

Stubbornness - In order for God to mold and make us into the individuals He wants us to be, we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.  God may need to shave off a piece of you, mold another area of your life, and take off a few inches of “old man”.  In our pride, we often become resistant to his molding.  We believe that we can do it “our way” and that everything will work out just fine.  We are being self centered and stubborn. That rigid, dig in your heals attitude will end with shackles on your ankles and mired deep in the muck of sin.  

If after reading this, you are beginning to identify the shackles that are holding you down, the answer is Christ.  He holds the keys to your and my freedom and He desires for you to find victory in Him.  You may have to claim your victory daily, and the struggle of letting go may seem like a fight for your life...and it is...but it is sooooooooooooooooooo worth it!

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