My freedom, my rights, my choices!” My, my, my, how many times have we heard those expressions! “You can’t make me do something I don’t want to do!” Well, folks, we have a bunch of people saying such words to excuse some inexcusable actions.
We have read some mighty nasty headlines lately about personal freedom. “FLIGHT ATTENDANT PUNCHED IN THE FACE!” “MOM’S PUSH AND YELL WHILE CHILDREN WATCH” “CROWD APPLAUDS WHEN TOLD AMERICA WOULD NOT MEET VACCINATION GOALS!”
Most of the behavior making the news involves COVID vaccinations and mask-wearing. “I ain’t wearin’ no mask!” “That pandemic is a hoax! No shot for me!”
The problem we have right now is with the word “I.” Those who think only in terms of “me” consider they are the rightful keepers of the universe. They believe their political agenda comes before all rules of decorum, kindness, understanding, and empathy.
“Me only” never works
Fires are consuming forests, homes, and towns in the West. Floods are rushing through villages and taking lives with them. Heat is scorching the earth while a virus continues to run rampant and mutate.
“Well, MY home isn’t burning. MY children didn’t perish in the floods, and MY garden is blooming, so what am I to do about other’s sorrows? Miss Delta Variant can’t get me because I am not old or have an underlying condition.” ME, ME, MY, MY, I, I.
The problem with the “Me Only” attitude is it will never work. It’s not meant to because God will not allow it. Sometimes I imagine if God sees one more act of violence or selfish behavior in the name of personal freedom, He might set us all free, move away or let the fires and floods consume the earth.
We are supposed to follow and adhere to God’s laws to understand freedom is a beautiful, bountiful gift. Or do His rules take a back seat to how we individually perceive the laws of our land?
The Bible is full of words regarding love, compassion, and peace. It’s all there in black, white, and red. How easy it is to forget those declarations when our earthly intellects get engaged.
Yes, often, that “Love one another as I love you” commandment just flies away on the unnoticed peace dove.
Hundreds of Bible verses
How many folks spew hate on social media, spread lies, punch someone in the gut, and then go to church on Sunday and pray for the world. What a shining example of Godliness we become with hypocrisy as a philosophy.
The truth is we cannot heal anything until we take away self-centered, self-righteous, unkind ways.
“For dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other.” Galatians 5: 13
That Bible verse is just one of a few hundred or more that speak of loving and serving one another as children of God. Yet, we often replace God with our version of “Me.”
We are the land of the free. OUR land belongs to all, not just one person or one organization. What we do as a majority provides freedom for all. If you do not wish to get a life-saving vaccine because you have an underlying condition, are not well informed, or waiting on full FDA approval, I understand. However, if you are not being vaccinated because of political reasons or feel your personal freedom is being violated, you just crossed the line.
Life, liberty, and happiness is ours
When this country asks all to continue wearing masks, our hospitals become overburdened once again, businesses shutter, and children cannot return to school, then your personal freedom just stomped on my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The amount of unkind, and harmful language spread from social and news media is disheartening and infuriating at the same time. I am sure God feels his messages seem lost or misused. When he watches those who pull their guns to kill, those who use hate to gain fame, those who incite discord and spread untruths, I am sure He cries.
He granted us a land where freedom reigns. God sent His son to tell us to love one another, be each other’s keepers, and watch for evil. He provides us instructions, and give us free will to make choices. Not just decisions for you, but for the good of all.
God is watching how many times we use the word “Me.” When we think only of ourselves and not others, we are ignoring His eyes upon us. As the floods rise, the fires rage, and His people die, I believe we might want to turn and gaze upon the face of God and dry His tears with our actions.