True Freedom

What is true freedom?  Is it the freedom to do what we want, get what we want and be who we want to be?  Is that true freedom?  A couple of days ago, we the people of America were free to vote for our next president.  The campaigns by both candidates have seemed like they have gone on forever.  By the end, I was just happy to be finally voting!  Whew.....what a mess.

It is now Friday of election week.  We found out who was elected on late Tuesday night.....and now there are stories of violence and hate filling up the airwaves. this gets me thinking.  Who is driving this?  Is it the media, who have rather enjoyed all the attention and don't want to let go?   Is it the true fear of those who didn't get their person elected?  Is it the opportunity of college students to get a day off to "grieve."  (In my youth I might have loved this - after all, any extra day off was worth pursuing.)

So much much much strife.   And so little truth.  So little freedom.  Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (this is called the chapter on love)

"Love never fails.  But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man (or woman), I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain; faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."

Jesus said, in John 8:31-32, "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"  These are the truths I hold on to.  What we see people bashing each other about with are really their versions of the truth, not absolute freedom giving truth.  None of us sees the complete truth, because our ideas of truth are resting in our imperfect brains inside our imperfect bodies.

My best intentions and truths I share are but a dim version of absolute truth.  When did we begin to teach our children that their opinions should take precedence over decency, kindness and graciousness?  Furthermore, when did we accept this kind of abuse as lawful and acceptable behavior?   The freedom of speech is fine, but the violence and brutality are criminal offenses.

If not for the brutality it would look quite similar to the kickball game in the park where the losers refused to accept the loss and instead a fight broke out!!   You know that scene, one team loses and the other start up a ruckus.....back then the ones who didn't win were called sore losers.  From children, this behavior is not far fetched. It is behavior that needs to be corrected with true perspective.  The tantrums were called out and the learning of acceptable behavior was taught.  It hurt our feelings when we were the one's causing the ruckus.  However, we all lived through it and learned not to let our feelings rule us...this truth set us free!

I love my country and the freedom we have to elect officials and a president.  I love the freedom to love and serve the LORD with all my heart.  We are free in America to express our opinions and I love that too.  I pray that we consider that true freedom respects other people's equally valid opinions and gives room in their mind's for that.  Small mindedness gives birth to suppression..suppression gives birth to abuse...and abuse gives birth to captivity.  And captivity is the opposite of true freedom.

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