What Prison Means

My church is currently going through the book of Philippians in their “Joy Under the Sun” series. There is one thing that is mentioned throughout every service, and it’s the fact that Paul is writing this letter from prison. I found myself in awe of Paul for proclaiming the gospel in the midst of his extreme circumstances. But I had a hard time relating to Paul, because I had never faced those kinds of things. Or so I thought.
As I was driving home tonight I was listening to the song “I’ll Keep On” by NF. I’ve heard this song a million times, but one of the lines caught my attention in this particular moment. He says “I never knew what freedom was until I learned what prison means.” What does prison mean? We may live in the Land of the Free, but as far as I’m concerned, we’re all slaves. We’re slaves to our comfort. We ignore opportunities to help others because it’s inconvenient for us and takes us out of our comfort zone. We’re slaves to our routines. God has become someone that we occasionally fit into our schedule. If He’s lucky. We’re slaves to our relationships. You know the one you just can’t seem to let go of? Or the one that keeps you up at night? Or the one that consumes your thoughts, and ultimately, your world? We’re all imprisoned by something.
I’m a slave to what people think of me. And I spend all of my time and energy trying to make it seem like I don’t care what others think, because I think they’ll like me better that way. I don’t buy clothes because I like them, I buy them because I think others will like them on me. I base my worth off of how many likes I get on Instagram, and I’m terrified that someday people might realize that I’m not all I’m cracked up to be on social media. I’m a slave to relationships. I put my hope in people more than I put my hope in God. And it fails me every single time. But I continue to do it. I’m a slave to the life that I pictured for myself. I let my expectations keep me from what God has for me. I can’t let go of the life I pictured for myself, even knowing that God has a better one planned out for me. That’s just the start of my mile long list of things I’m imprisoned by. Freedom is not a right, it’s a choice. A choice made daily in our walk with Christ. The only difference between Me and Paul is that there’s no lock on my prison cell. All I have to do is make the choice to walk out. That happens when you choose Jesus.
Choose Jesus, and choose each other. Be vulnerable. Share your hurts and your hang ups. Be open with the people you’re surrounded with. CS Lewis said it like this:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Talk about your prisons. A lot of us are sharing the same cell. Take heart my friends.

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10 thoughts on “What Prison Means

  1. Seriously good stuff here Jordan! This made my day and I believe with God’s help it will make my life so much better. I’m glad that you posted this despite any fear you may have felt of what others would think. I struggle with that immensely. Keep up the good work and may God bless you in ways you never imagined 🙂

  2. Wow, all I can say is wow. Some really good food for the though. I would love to talk more about this. Some parts inperticular, but that just blew my mind. Give me a call some time maybe we could get coffee lol.

  3. Jordan, what a blessing you are. Your mother has been a huge blessing in our lives, someone that is important to us, and it seems that you are the same kind of person. Bless you for these posts, your mom shares them and then I am also blessed by them. Thank you.

  4. Jordan,
    I am again in awe of your wisdom at such a young age. You have such a way of putting into words what we all feel and experience. Thank you for continually sharing your walk with Christ so publicly and being brave enough to say what needs to be said. Maybe that is a prison for me, to not say what the Lord is prompting me to say to others. I do this out of fear of conflict or concern for what somebody may think of me. Thank you for the reminder to step out of our comfort zone to be what God has called us to be. You are loved!
    Bill Harvey

  5. Jordan, I am so amazed and thankful for how God is using you through your words. He has blessed you with a talent that He can and will use as you walk with Him. God bless you! Elizabeth Gray
    P.S. Know that your Mom is so proud of the woman you are!

  6. Pingback: Response: What is your prison? | Words by Wake Jartgow

  7. Pingback: Re: If we’re all in prison we should throw a party | Siestas & Fiestas

  8. Pingback: Re: What is Your Prison? | Shannon Hubbard

  9. Pingback: In Response: “Talk about your prisons. A lot of us are sharing the same cell.” | Kelsey May Nalder

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