Imagine you are at Ellis Library studying your face off for your first round exam and someone comes up to you and asks you if you are a slave.
Forgetting about the randomness of the question, what would you say? What would our culture say? What would the apostle Paul say? Paul writes in Romans 6:17-18
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
The answer to the question would have to depend on the definition of slavery. Paul did not have the idea of slavery from 19th century America in mind when he wrote this in 57 AD. Instead, he has a different idea of what slavery is. The greek word for slavery in this context is doulos (doo-los) which means a slave, bondman, man of servile condition, servant, or attendant. So that answer to the question is absolutely yes because we all serve something. It is not a question of “whether” we are slaves, it is a question of “what” are we slaves too?
What are you a slave to? Or to pose the question another way, what do you work extremely hard for? What do you get most excited about doing? What do you feel most satisfied about? In the next few posts I’ll be unpacking the idea of what it means to be a slave, unearthing what we are enslaved by, and examining what we should be slaves to.