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When Our Spiritual Life Resembles a Treadmill

Treadmills are fun if you want to get a little exercise. Unfortunately, for many people, religion feels like running on a treadmill: they're working hard but getting nowhere. That's a good image for one way to approach the Christian life, especially if you consider the history behind the treadmill. Elyse Fitzpatrick writes:

In Victorian England, treadmills weren't found in air-conditioned health clubs—they were found in prisons. Treadmills, or treadwheels, as they were called, were used in penal servitude as a form of punishment. Some treadwheels were productive, grinding wheat or transporting water, but others were purely punitive in nature. Prisoners were punished by spending the bulk of their day walking up an inclined plane, knowing that all their hard labor was for nothing. The only hope the prisoner had was that, at some day in the future, he would have "paid his debt" to society and would be set free. He couldn't even look on his labor at the end of the day and know that, if nothing else, he'd been productive.
As you struggle with [sin in your life], remember that [Christ] has set you free indeed and that you're no longer sentenced to be chained to the treadmill of sin and failure. He has paid the ransom demanded for your release from sin, and you're now walking in the freedom of the glory of the sons and daughters of God.

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