This quintessential song of a teenage girl’s rebellion against her boyfriend’s control was recently used in a car commercial.  Using Lesley Gore’s hit of 1963 as a background, a young woman’s cooking attempt is dumped into a trash can by a chef.  Her work is later vindicated as we see her selling it from a food truck which we assume she now owns.

We can probably all relate to the attitude of wanting the freedom to create our own plans and ideas with grit and fortitude.  However, we also need to balance this by understanding and accepting the reality that a parent, principal, employer and government usually provide the resources that allow it.

A part of the song says, “Don’t tell me what to do (or say), don’t try to change me in any way.  (I want) to live my life the way I want..”  Once again, this seems to be a normal desire for any teenager and many adults.  However, we have all seen the results if this feeling develops into unchecked anarchy.

The Christian walk seems to be an oxymoron in that it involves both slavery and freedom.  We have, “…been set free from sin and have become slaves to God…”(Rom 6:22) (Gal 2:4) As free slaves we also have the choice to remain faithful or run away.  Onesimus, the slave, fled from his master Philemon from Colosse to Rome until he discovered real freedom in Christ from the Apostle Paul. (Phi 10, 11) The book of Hebrews talks of those who, after “once being enlightened and tasting of the heavenly gift and sharing in the Holy Spirit…” still having the option to “fall away.”  (Heb 6:4-6)(Heb 4:11)

Yes, Christ owns us and can and does tell us what to do and say through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in many scriptures.  He can do this because he paid the price to buy us with his own blood.  He can and does change us in every way and the life we now live we live in Him.  The key to all of this is the difference between involuntary and voluntary servitude.  The whole Bible tells us of God’s love and desire to have us grow more like Christ (Jo 3:16)  We do this when we voluntarily adjust our minds and submit our wills to Him. (Rom 12) The choice is still ours.

—-Jim Bailey