By Jackie Gable

Her long, blonde hair often got tangled. She must have brushed her hair ten times a day, each time detangling the same rebellious spot. But today was different; it was worse. The tangles were impossible to brush out.

“Ouch! Come on hair, cooperate!” she yelled from behind the bathroom door. Her siblings learned a while ago to tune out her cries of pain, for how frequent they were. But her mother would always be there to help when things got desperate.

“Honey, we may just have to cut it out,” she responded in her familiar sweet tone.

“Mom, no! This is my hair we’re talking about. I can get it out, I know I can!” the stubborn teen persisted.

In vain she tried to remove the matted knot from her beautiful locks only to finally heed to her mother’s wisdom. Cutting out the tangled hair seemed at the time quite devastating, but once done, it wasn’t so bad. In fact, her hair looked and felt much better.

Sometimes our lives can get tangled, too. We tangle ourselves up in things that seem so important, but can cause more problems in the end. Our friends, reputation, guys, and even our heart, all have a potential to turn our spiritual lives into something displeasing to God.

Paul said to the Galatians, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” If you’re a Christian – one within whom Christ dwells – you are free! You have an overcoming power that the world lacks. That “yoke of bondage” is referring to those common entanglers, like wrong influences, thoughts, motives, or pursuits.

Wrong friendships commonly entangle us spiritually. We get tangled, or deceived, by the thought that “popularity trumps a godly reputation.” Even the thought of a relationship with a guy can entangle you. Be so careful with your friendship choices! They will make or break you spiritually.

The problem is not that we get all tangled up with these things. I think Paul even understood that when he wrote to this church. Unfortunately, it’s a part of life. Our goal, however, should be to identify those things and cut them out of our life, so that we don’t get entangled “again!”

Just as the girl with long hair had to give up and cut out her problem, spiritually we have to do that at times. Wrong friends? Cut them out! Wrong thoughts? Cut out the things that cause wrong thoughts (TV, movies, internet, Facebook). I know that sounds harsh, but if they tangle your life in sin (bondage) and keep you from experiencing freedom, joy, and security, they got to go.

It would be strange to see a girl walking around with a huge, frizzy knot sticking out of her head. Everyone would wonder why she hadn’t cut it out. Likewise, if you allow improper thoughts, pursuits, friendships or relationships remain in your life they will in fact be obvious to those around you. These things, although sometimes hidden for a time, will shape your character and create who you will be for the rest of your life. This is why we must “stand fast” – look for areas of your life that are tangled up, purpose to cut out the influences that keep you tangled up, and resolve to live your life tangle-free through the One who alone gives freedom.


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