Links Daily Devotional


Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34, NIV)

No one wants to be a bad golfer. Some people don’t care enough, perhaps, to make the difficult fix—but that doesn’t mean they’re happy with their game.

Consider a habitual slicer of the ball. Many who have this problem, thanks to an outside-in swing, figure it’s easier to outwit the problem than undo it. So, if they play right-handed, they line up a bit more to the left and let go with another banana ball. The trouble is that the banana becomes more and more curvy. Why? Because your subconscious eye knows just what you’re up to. It sees and feels the far left aim of your shoulders, your hips, or your feet (or all three!) and tells your arms to increase the outside-in loop and your hands to hold off the release of the club.

If you play golf this way, I wish I could break it to you gently, but maybe what you need is the harsh truth: you are a slave to your sin.

In a common tussle with the Pharisees, who wanted to challenge him on virtually every point, Jesus was discussing freedom with them. They bragged that because the Jews had never been anyone’s slaves, they were free. It was at this point that Jesus informed them that their sins made them slaves to sin.

How does this work? The quickest answer probably rests in the familiar expression “downward spiral.” Sin has neither the desire nor the need to honor you. Chemical addictions open our eyes to such a life-shattering grip. But other sins our no different; they promise a more satisfied self and deliver a disappointed or defeated one instead. Oh, yes, you can deny this. The Pharisees did. Many of your friends—religious and irreligious alike—probably do as well. They see their sins as non-judgeable personal choices, no different than the ones you make. But these are not golf swings we’re talking about!

The way to repair your slice is not by aligning yourself farther and farther away from the true target. The way to repair your slice is by going to work on your alignment. Establishing a square set of your shoulders, hips and feet to the target is what you need to hit the straight ball.

The way to repair your life is not by aligning yourself with things that have little or nothing to do with the core of saving faith. The way to repair your life is by realigning yourself, placing your trust in Jesus and pointing your being toward him. He is the Son, the one who can set us free, and he is the one who has invited us into shared freedom with him, saying, “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.”

Jeff Hopper

February 23, 2012

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