In 1973, a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden took place and four bank employees were held hostage. During the six-day standoff, one of the hostages developed a bond with her captors and even stated that she fully trusted her captors, fearing she would die if the police assaulted the building. Since its first description, the psychological phenomenon has appeared in other hostage situations and has been dubbed The Stockholm syndrome. One explanation suggests that “the bond is initially created when a captor threatens a captive’s life, deliberates, and then chooses not to kill the captive. The captive’s relief at the removal of the death threat is transposed into feelings of gratitude toward the captor for giving him or her life. As the Stockholm bank robbery incident proves, it takes only a few days for this bond to cement, proving that, early on, the victim’s desire to survive trumps the urge to hate the person who created the situation.” The syndrome has been applied to other situations including victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and prisoners of war.
Isn’t this what Satan does to us? We are all born sinners and are captives of sin. Satan will do our best to convince us that obedience to him is better than rejecting or fighting him. Too often, we give in to Satan’s beguiling, reasoning that it is easier to acquiesce rather than resist. What hope do we have to free ourselves from our own spiritual Stockholm syndrome?
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 8:34-36 (NKJV)
Jesus Christ knows the power that sin has over our lives. He was tempted in all ways but never succumbed to sinning. By our own efforts, we are helpless to conquer sin and change our destiny. Only by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, will we be able to free ourselves from the power of sin.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, can make us free, but only if we come to Him first. Only He can release us from our own Stockholm syndrome to receive salvation and eternal life.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.