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There once was a Big Boss who ruled with a heavy fist, a nasty voice, and unrelenting taunting. He ruled without kindness, empathy or forgiveness. In fact, he ran his business as if he was a god. And for the people who worked under him, he was their god.

After all, he told them what to do, when to do it, how often, and how much they messed up. He was really good at the latter. He relished his “educational sessions,” as he called them. He held special meetings to explain in great detail all they’d done wrong. These meetings never took place during regular working hours. Big Boss made his employees stay late, without pay, so he could berate them.

If someone tried to think for himself, Big Boss would beat them down. Not with his fists, but much worse. He used words. He knew they made the best weapons. He’d make the person feel worthless. Filled them with fear. Somehow, he’d twist the truth around and make the person feel like it was their fault that he was so mean to them.

“Why do you make me do this?” Big Boss would lament. “Why do I have to spend my time punishing you? Humiliating you? It’s exhausting.”

Some of the employees lived their entire lives working for Big Boss. They were tired. Broken. Beaten down. They felt undeserving of decent treatment. They were filled with shame.

But one day a former employee came to the workplace. The employees hardly recognized him. He stood tall, no longer bent over at the waist looking at the ground. They saw no shame or guilt. In fact, there was something else no one could recognize because they’d never seen it before. He had a special light in his eyes.

Big Boss wasn’t present when Former Employee stopped by. Former Employee walked around shaking people’s hands. Hugging them. The employees were filled with questions.

“What happened to you?”

“Where have you been?”

“How’d you get out of here?”

Former Employee did something the others didn’t recognize at first. He laughed. “I found freedom,” he said. “I’m no longer afraid of Big Boss. He doesn’t own me.”

The employees gasped. It was as if the very air they breathed was sucked out of them. One who caught his breath asked, “How is this possible? You know we have no other choice but to work here. There’s nothing else for us.”

“It’s easy,” said Former Employee. “I met someone who opened a very special door for me. The door to freedom. I walked through that door with him and my life has never been the same.” Former Employee was glowing. That special light they saw in him was even brighter now.

“Who is it? Can we go there?” someone asked with something never seen here. Hope.

“Oh, yes you can. Let me introduce you to my new boss. He’s more than my boss, he’s my savior. His name is Jesus Christ. When you think you’re in a dead end alley with no escape, cry out to him and he’ll show you the way out.

“He’ll open up a door for you that you’ve never seen before. It’s been there all the time, but you’ve been too afraid to see it. Big Boss is good at that, isn’t he? Keeping everyone afraid.”

The employees nodded their heads up and down. Not one of them spoke out loud. All they could do was listen.

“You have to give up the fear. I gave mine to Jesus. I cried out to him and he took my hand and led me to freedom.”

“Can we go there?”

“Yes, you can. But freedom isn’t a place. It’s a person. Jesus.”

“What about Big Boss? Can he find you?”

“Oh, he tries. But whenever he shows up trying to put me back into his chains I tell him that I have a new boss now. I tell him that I belong to Jesus. And guess what? When I simply say the name, “Jesus,” Big Boss is afraid. He actually trembles in his boots. Then he leaves. There’s power in the name of Jesus.”

There’s a stunned hush. Then one person speaks up. “That’s it?”

“That’s it. It’s as simple as that. Cry out to Jesus. Ask him to be the boss of your life. Follow him and doors will open to a new life of freedom without shame, or guilt, or regret. And if Big Boss comes around trying to bring you back, just say the name of Jesus, and he has to leave.”

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

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Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at kathyyoder4@gmail.com.

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