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May 14

Vices: Yours, Mine, and Ours

Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Guest Post by Ash San Filippo

Over the past few years, I have developed a new hobby: building things. I’ve spent many hours of my free time building everything from a new bed frame to a dish rack. With each new project, my need for tools grows. There has been one tool in particular that I have had my eye on, but have yet to purchase: a vice. Vices are unique tools. They have no cords, no blades and no handles—yet they are just as powerful as any tool hanging in my garage.

Vices get their power from slow, consistent turns of a handle. With each turn, the vice gains control of the object that it’s closing in on. In the end, the object becomes completely immobilized. Stuck. Vulnerable.

There is another type of vice.

Webster defines it as “a : moral depravity or corruption. b : a moral fault or failing c : a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming.

Everyone has at least one vice. One habit. One addiction. One flaw. One sin.  The similarity between the vice tool and the vice depravity are shocking.

Both happen slowly, one decision at a time. No one wakes up and decides they’re going to be an addict. But gradually—little by little—the vice tightens in on them, and eventually they feel unable to escape.

Both are much more powerful than it seems from first appearance. When you’re tightening a vice, you’re never sure if you have it tight enough until you try to get the piece of wood out. In the same way, when falling into sin, you never realize how tight it’s got you until you try to escape.

There is one drastic difference, however, between the two types of vices. That is, the wood doesn’t have a choice. A carpenter chooses a piece of wood, places it between the steel plates of the vice turns the handle to immobilize the lumber. We are not wood. We put ourselves in the vice and we slowly turn the handle. It is vitally important that we accept responsibility for our own choices. Unless we accept this truth, we will always be waiting for someone else to loosen the vice for us.

There is also only one way to truly be freed from both types of vice: one turn at a time.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:13, I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

If you find yourself in the midst of a vice, consider following this path to freedom: Take responsibility for the decisions that led you here, admit that you need help to get out, pray and ask God to give the strength to loosen the vice, get accountable to someone who can help you make the changes that will result in a life a freedom.

Be patient, the road to freedom is long. But one turn at a time, you can be free.

Guest Post by Ash San Filippo

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