I have been crucified with Christ so that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians is one of my favorite books of the Bible because of the way Paul emphasizes freedom in Christ. One of the things that makes me most passionate about abolitionist efforts is that I have experienced spiritual slavery and bondage to my sin. While idolatry held my willing heart captive, there’s over 36 million people held against their will in industries that we support every day by our purchases.
To give you an idea of how many slaves work for you, Made in a Free World has created a tool called Slavery Footprint. Slavery Footprint is a series of questions about your purchasing habits. I like to retake it once a year to see if I’ve been able to make more ethical purchases year over year. Now, something to note: it doesn’t factor second hand purchases, so if you’re a thrifter like me, make sure to adjust accordingly. The first time I took this test, I had 36 slaves working for me as a freshman in college My current results are below, 6 years later.
As important as it is to shop ethically, we can also call our favorite brands to action. Tell them how much of a raving fan you are of their product and why it’s important to you that they change the suppliers that they use or the way they treat their own employees. One company that I’ve had the experience of doing this with is Hershey’s. For the last 6 years, I haven’t purchased a Hershey’s product or a product made with a Hershey’s product (like Chick-fil-A’s chocolate shakes) because Hershey’s has a consistent pattern of making empty promises about eliminating slavery from their supply chains. I write frequently to Hershey’s and Chick-fil-A, looking for change, and hoping for the day that it comes.
But more than physical freedom, those caught in the midst of human trafficking need spiritual freedom and healing that comes from the Gospel, as do we all. As you may know, this is Holy Week and today is Good Friday. Today, we reflect on the freedom we can know in Christ and the redemption of sins, including those that were committed against us. As we reflect on today, I’d like to finish with the Lord’s Prayer and remind you to reflect on what it means to honor God in this way. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I talk about freedom in Christ, I encourage you to read this and reach out to me personally on twitter @ashyounks.
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.