You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
This week we celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. I thought I'd share an article written by the priest at the church where I grew up:
Freedom involves responsibility and answering for the decisions we make. July 4th is always a great day in the United States of America, as we celebrate Independence Day, the day America declared its independence from England. The Revolutionary War was a bitter struggle but one that our forefathers considered most primary so that the colonies could act independently, without the domination of a power from across the sea.
Freedom is a basic quality of the human person, for we are created with an intellect and a free will. We have a will that can make its own decisions for determination. Whenever that freedom is taken away, there comes a burden to the individual. Over the years I have visited many, many individuals in prison, and how often they have said to me, "You can give us the very finest of foods, carpet our cells and make them as comfortable as possible, but when you take away a person's freedom, you have taken away one of his greatest possessions."
Freedom is a marvelous and wonderful gift but it also entail something called responsibility. It means that when we make choices, we have to answer for them, that we are responsible for them. We are responsible for our actions, for our choices and we need to pay the consequences for them. We need also to endure the consequences, not only of our own free choices, but the choices of others.
These reflections were prompted by something that I experience many, many times per month. How God is often blamed for many things He should not be blamed for! Someone is killed in an accident and, especially if it is a child, people will say, "Why did God do this to us? Why did He take that little child?"
The reality is that God doesn't kill little children or deliberately cause accidents, but He does allow people to exercise their freedom of choice. If someone chooses to drink and then drive and kills a number of people on the highway, it is not that God wished this to happen. It is that He has allowed an individual to make their own choice even though others will need to pay the consequence for it.
Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini made many choices during the era of the Second World War and from those choices, millions and millions died. God can interfere with the free choices of humans but ordinarily He does not. if we want a freedom, such as that of choice, then we mus tpay the consequence for it, whether those choices are made by ourselves or by others.
Chickens, birds, cattle and fish have no free choice. They are directed completely by instinct. Would we rather be a chicken - or a human who assumes the responsibilities for our actions?
Privileges involve responsibilities, if you have one you must accept the other. People die of starvation and malnutrition in underdeveloped countries because the developed countries of the world have not assumed adequate responsibility and made the choice for sharing their super-abundant wealth.
It is not that God does not provide. As He provides for the sparrows on the tree tops, He will also provide for humans. But humans must assume the responsibility of sharing and reaching out to those who are in need.
Before we blame or criticize God for this or that particular difficulty, it might be well to look into the situation and say, "Was this a result of my own decision-making or the decision-making of some other human?" Let's not be blaming God too quickly. He is not accustomed to interfering with human decisions; He can, but most often does not.
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember that freedom involves responsibility and answering for the decisions we make.
Your challenge this week is to create a project using this scripture or another verse that reminds us that freedom isn't free, it comes with responsibility. When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT88 and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us!
Supplies for this project
Cardstock: Bazzill – Natural Kraft, Dark Navy Blue, Deep Dark Red, Coconut Swirl
Decorative Paper: We R Memory Keepers – Yankee Doodles
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs – Home of the Free
Inks, Stains, Paints & Colored Pencils: Versifine – Onyx Black Ink; Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils; Colorbox Ink – Cranberry, Navy
Dies, Punches & Embossing Folders: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder