Living in Prison by A.J. Rasmussen
No - I'm not speaking of the physical prison I sit inside as I write this - but rather the prison I was in long before my arrest. The same prison many people find themselves in.
Philosopher, Plato, uses his "Plato's Cave Allegory" to describe it. In the allegory he speaks of a person being bound - living in a prison of their own making - not able to see the realities of life around them, Imprisoned in their mind, failing to grow or succeed because they've led themselves to believe "This is is."
Scripture in 2 Peter (2:19) says it like this. "Whatever overcomes a person, to that they are enslaved (imprisoned)." That enslaving 'thing' might be drugs, alcohol, depression, food, loneliness, money, fame - for me it was sex and dependence on others for true happiness. However I never seemed to obtain that 'true happiness' I was chasing, because everything I chased was temporary, fallible, and most often self-seeking.
Although I am now much more free of this non-physical imprisonment, I still to this day battle with the enslaving power of people and things. The physical imprisonment causes the loss of so much, that you're left, at an amplified level, trying to fill the emptiness. But . . . I have found it possible - the majority of the time - to experience freedom inside these walls. For me it boils down to who we place our dependence in - man or God - and whether we are living selfishly, or selflessly.
Peter lays out a path for us to escape this self-imprisonment - or as Plato calls it - 'bound way of living'. In 2 Peter (1:5-8,10) he tells us to "...make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control (a biggie for me), and self-control with keeping focussed (steadfastness), steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with LOVE. For if you keep these qualities as yours, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful . . . be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will NEVER fall."
I spent many years doing ' A Lot', but in the end much of it turned out to be both ineffective and fruitless (lack of good fruit, plenty of rotten). My goal from this day forward - as I hope will be yours - is to live a life that will be effective, producing those good fruits we are called to produce.
We need not live in prison any longer. Join me on the walk to freedom - 'Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart...' (Proverbs 3:5-6)