reactions to freedom

At the gym this morning, all the tv's were heralding the sudden transfer of authority from the US to Iraq. As I did my penance on the eliptical machine, I watched as the various Iraqi ministers smiled, took back the keys to their country, and (at least I think) wondered "Now what in the heck do we do?"

There's this quirky human nature thing that is called the Stockolm Syndrome. First identified by Psychologist Nils Bejerot, it notes a strange tendency for captives to develop an irrational attachment - even affection - for their captors. When they are set free, they are distrustful of their liberators. In short, they don't know how to handle freedom.

I wish all the best for the people of Iraq, but I wonder about the Stockholm Syndrome...even as many in Afghanistan are already pining about the good old days of Taliban rule, it would not surprise me if Iraqis go through the same phase.

It got me to thinking about freedom from our own spiritual enemy - the one who eons ago declared himself the equal of God the Father. Set free, we have a horrible tendency to - at least mentally, and sometimes spiritually - wander back to the old days. It wasn't so bad, was it? Surely living a condemned life wasn't all that unsettling? Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome.

You were destined for freedom. All creation knows it. Resist the natural human tendency to think otherwise - to willingly bind yourself to all that destroys. Consider the words of the seer, Isaiah, who described the moment of spiritual freedom this way:

Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Let's make a deal....nobody thinks about going back, okay?

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