Choosing To Be a Slave

Choosing To Be a Slave

Slave. The word is ugly in any language. To be forced to call another person “master,” to be denied the freedom of choice in every matter of life—who you marry, where you live, your vocation—is anathema, a cursed thing.

With man’s inhumanity toward man, slavery has existed for ages. In some cultures, like ancient Rome, household slaves were often given respect. Sometimes, they received their freedom and were adopted into the master’s family. In other cultures, slavery has been a splinter of hell on earth, America’s experiences included.

Yet the Apostle Paul speaks of being a slave to Christ. Did Jesus force Paul to call Him Master? No! Then how did he ever become a slave? Did Jesus deny Paul his freedom of choice? Not exactly. Paul, in dramatic fashion (Acts 9:1-22), chose to follow Jesus. By choosing slavery, he gave up the right to be his own master. Jesus owned him, and Jesus made the choices—where Paul would travel, to whom Paul would preach, the words Paul would speak to rich and poor—and Paul was content to obey.

I have chosen to be a slave to Christ. I enter slavery of my own free will. If I am to be Christ’s slave, I will obey Him. I will try my best to accomplish every task He assigns to me. The decisions I make are no longer my own. Every action of mine needs to be pre-approved by God. What if I fail? What if, in spite of my efforts, I forget to ask for God’s approval? What if I don’t complete my assigned task?

A human master often punishes a slave for failure, but Jesus knows more than any human master. He knows if I’ve tried my best and failed. He’ll continue to teach me the skills I need, and He’ll have the patience to help me improve and cheer me on as I progress.

What if I fail because I was lazy? Or rebellious? My Master has every right to be angry. What can I do? Where can I go? Nowhere. Running away is futile (Psalm 139:7-12). There is no hiding from Him. I must place my sinful self at His mercy. And He is merciful.

What if I ignore His orders? Or disobey them? My Master is wise as well as merciful, He will make sure my own actions cause me so much misery as to bring about repentance, the only path to relief.

I have chosen to be a slave to Christ. I have chosen to make Him my Master. He directs my path, He orders my days, my hours, and my minutes. To my shame, I’ve been disobedient and rebellious. Many times I’ve ignored His directives and suffered the consequences. Laziness has been a common failing, but the Master still works with me, teaches me, nudges me in the direction He chose.

I am content.

About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at


  1. Laurie Driesen says:

    That is so beautiful Linda. You’re right, people think the word “slavery” is so awful but in Jesus’ day, choosing to be a bondslave many times put the person in a much better life situation. That’s why I would rather be a slave to Christ than be living on my own. Living for Him actually gives me more freedom than if I live for myself. This world is so evil that I want to be connected as close as possible to Jesus. I love Him so much that I want to be a bondslave and serve Him, that fills me with more joy than anything else! Thanks for a great post!

  2. Thank you, Laurie. My sentiments exactly! And I apologize for not responding sooner–I didn’t receive an alert of a comment.

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