Tied in knots?

Written By: Chris Mace

Tied in knots?

Lying on this Stonington wharf, these colorful, braided ropes are reminders of things which hold us tightly. King Solomon used braided cords as a metaphor for strong relationships. The Message paraphrases his wisdom: “With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)

Just as intertwined rope strands increase strengthen and durability, bonds of love, shared values, and mutual support join to make strong marriages, cohesive families, and successful cooperative efforts. We are more stable and able when joined in community where we share ideas, customs, rituals, and learned values but are free to communicate differences.

However, not all bonds are good. Toxic relationships, inherited disorders, unfortunate personality traits, difficult circumstances, chronic disabilities, and devastating addictions are restrictive. They control us, hold us back, and are often the source of shame.

Scripture speaks of being enslaved by sinful attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. Christ said that he was Truth and “the Truth will make you free.” His atoning work releases the power of forgiveness, takes away shame, grants freedom from condemnation, provides comfort in difficulties, gives meaning and purpose, enables overcoming, and ensures hope even in death if we choose to believe.

Many of us are familiar with the beautiful, hope-filled, and much beloved hymn “Amazing Grace,” which was written by slave owner John Newton after his conversion. Another version (Amazing Grace -My Chains are Gone). expands the concept of how free and amazing God’s grace is when it comes to bondage of the soul. Although better heard than read, one refrain is:

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free/ My God, my Savior has ransomed me/And like a flood His mercy reigns/
Unending love, amazing grace

No entrapped mind or soul is so tightly bound that Jesus cannot intervene and loose the bonds. “If the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you are will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 (ESV).

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