v 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.
Mighty strong words here! Peter is obviously anxious to impress on these new believers the danger of being lured back into a life of immorality. The tragedy was that these false teachers had found a place in the Christian fellowship and were attempting to draw others back into the old ways of life, and once again Peter refers in v 18 to the prevalent sexual ethic ‘ With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. ‘ Just how 21st Century is that!
Let’s not stop on that particular theme however, Peter’s concern is that people are liable to be pushed back into a life of slavery. Not the physical slavery of being under the thumb of a dominant master but the inner slavery of our desires and motivations in daily life.
I’m writing these notes in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and have watched with mounting horror the queues of people fighting over toilet rolls, and other goods that they deem as essential to our lives. The overwhelming desire to have ‘stuff’ controls their thinking and actions even in the supermarket aisles. The TV reports of empty shelves and shoppers walking away with armfuls of ordinary, everyday items, provide the most telling comment imaginable on our slavery to stuff. The picture of a lady living on her own taking delivery of a dozen or so packs of 9 loo rolls says more than any lecturer in psychology could ever say about human nature!
So what is it that controls you? What are your fundamental priorities in life? What thoughts and desires will dominate and motivate you today? Have we all been seduced by the consumer society and become slaves to ‘stuff’?
Hey Ho – let’s think differently, and more positively, about this issue tomorrow.