February 4, 1992
“There is no slave like the person who is free to do what he pleases.”
The psychiatrist who said it backs it up. He discloses that four out of ten teenagers who come to him with psychological disorders are beyond his help because “each one is demanding that the world conform to his or her personal and uncontrolled desires.”
This professional also says, “If these personality disorders persist far into adulthood, we will have a society of pleasure-driven people, hopelessly insecure and dependent.”
Hopelessly insecure and dependent. Interesting. Apparently modern psychiatry has discovered what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years — pursuing our desires does not bring security and independence but great bondage.
It is common to think true freedom means being free to do whatever we please, but experts in mental health say not, and so does Scripture. Freedom is a big topic in the Bible and yet Romans 6 reduces it to two simple choices: we can either serve God as His bondslaves, or serve ourselves and be in bondage to sin.
For most, that is illogical. Again, freedom seemingly means being able to do what we want, when we want, with no restrictions. Of course slavery would then mean being in bondage to the dictates of someone else; and if that someone else is a holy deity that demands goodness, how can being good all the time equate to freedom? Those who think that way abandon obedience to God to pursue their own desires, usually without giving thought to the consequences.
Scripture offers some spiritual insights regarding this kind of thinking. First, Proverbs 14:12 warns there is a way that seems right... but the end of it is death. Like the psychiatrist said, those who go the way that seems right are eventually very insecure. The Bible says they are destroyed.
Also, Romans 3 says there are “none who seek after God, they have all turned aside... and become unprofitable. There is none who does good, no, not one... destruction and misery are in their ways...” Again, the conclusion of the psychiatrist is the same as that of the Word of God: there is no slave like the person free to do as they please... because what they please is so self-destructive.
Secondly, Isaiah 53:6 says “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquities of us all.” According to Isaiah, simply turning from God to do our own thing is the very definition of sin, and the reason Jesus was crucified.
Author Oscar Wilde, not a Christian, made this confession: “The gods have given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease... tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace.”
What Wilde tragically never discovered was that God treats His slaves far better than sin does. In fact, Jesus said: “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”