Being free from the ‘yoke of slavery’

Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I was speaking with my youngest daughter a couple of weeks ago and she told me something interesting.

She said her pastor preached from Galatians 5:1, which says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

The title of his sermon was “Now What?” The premise of the sermon was “You asked God for deliverance from whatever it was that had you bound and He delivered you from that burden, now what? What changes are you willing to make in your life to ensure you are never a slave to that situation again?”

My daughter said the sermon made her think of a 6-week, 20-pound weight loss challenge she participated in during the months of May and June.  She said she was in constant prayer while participating in the challenge. She prayed for strength to endure, she prayed for strength to be delivered from the weight that had her bound/enslaved.

I visited my daughter during the last two weeks of the challenge and was so proud of how focused she had become.

She revamped her eating habits, lifted weights for an hour and then ran four miles; this was her Monday through Saturday exercise routine. She followed all the directions she was given and at the end of the challenge she lost 21 pounds! She looked fantastic and said she felt more confident than she had in 10 years. I was amazed at her transformation and was so proud of her achievement.

She left for Jamaica the day after the challenge with a suitcase full of new slim clothes and a vow to never look the way she looked before she joined the challenge.  She was in Jamaica for eight days, and according to her, she ate and drank everything in sight (it was an all-inclusive and in her mind she had to get her money’s worth).

All the good food had started to take its toll and she gained eight pounds by the time the vacation was over.

She told me this story because she said “it’s not about losing the weight to win the challenge, it’s about being free from the ‘yoke of slavery,’ aka the ‘habits/mindset’ that put her there.” She rejoined the gym and is working towards her new goal of removing the weight she put on.

She said she has no doubt that with hard work the weight will once again come off, but the question she must ask herself once she gets the weight off is “now what?” What changes is she willing to make in her life to ensure she is never a slave to that situation again?

Mary Simmons is a columnist for the K-V Dispatch. She can be reached at