Give Yourself Permission

AT A BAZAAR IN NORTHERN INDIA, an old farmer brought in a whole covey of quail. He had tied a string around one leg of each bird. The other ends of all the strings were tied to a ring which fit loosely over a central stick. He had taught the quail to walk dolefully in a circle, around and around, like mules at a sugarcane mill. Nobody seemed interested in buying the birds until along came a devout Brahman. He believed in the Hindu idea of respect for all life, so his heart of compassion went out to those poor little creatures walking in monotonous circles.

"I want to buy them all," he told the merchant, who was elated. After receiving the money, he was surprised to hear the buyer say, "Now, I want you to set them all free."

"What's that, sir?"

"You heard me; cut the strings from their legs and turn them loose. Set them all free!"

With a shrug, the old farmer bent down and snipped the strings off the quail. They were freed, at last. What happened? The birds simply continued marching around and around in a circle. Finally, he had to shoo them off. Even when they landed some distance away, they resumed their predictable circular march. Free, untied, released . . . yet they kept going around and around in circles as if still tied. Sometimes it's hard to embrace the freedom to be what God has made us to be!

Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.


Are you like that covey of quail? Who is holding you back from living in the freedom of who God made you to be? What negative decision or experience are you allowing to control you? Stop it! God, in grace, has purchased you from bondage. Christ has literally set you free. The Spirit of the Lord has provided long-awaited liberty. Since the strings have been cut, it's time to stop marching and start flying. Give yourself permission to lift those wings and feel the exhilaration of a soaring lifestyle.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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