Remembering Love

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately. Freedom tied to privilege; Freedom of speech; Freedom of choice; Freedom to marry. It’s been in the news, in conversation, and its definition has felt a bit divisive lately.

It’s interesting to think that, just about 250 years ago, our freedoms were literally a revolutionary idea. That the idea of giving (white landowning men) a list of freedoms was so out of the norm, a war was fought over it. (Well, and a lot of other things, but it’s more romantic to think of our War for Independence in those terms…)

I think there’s a tension in living with these freedoms, though. While I am incredibly grateful to live in a country where my status as an educated woman grants me so many freedoms, I find the balance of holding tight to those freedoms and loving my neighbor a difficult one to achieve.

I believe that the number one commandment of the Bible is to love our neighbor. From Micah 6:8’s “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God” message to Jesus’ repeated themes of loving God and loving neighbors, of loving the poor, of remembering the last will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, I see the message of love – not freedom – being preached over and over.

I’m not sure these two ideas have to be exclusive, but I do wonder if, when we are so worried about our freedoms being taken away, we forget to love. And I wonder how that would look – if we focused on love rather than freedom.

How do you view freedom? How do you find the balance between celebrating freedom and loving your neighbors?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.

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16 thoughts on “Remembering Love

  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts Annie. I believe that people have forgotten how to love their neighbour. Instead they focus on the I – on what their rights and freedoms are. To love others, we should focus instead on what their needs, rights and freedoms are. The words Jesus preached on love are so relevant today and it is sad that people have turned away from them as it has lessened their humanity.

    1. Thanks, Colline! I grapple with this… I’m thankful for freedoms, but when we lose sight of the freedoms of others, we lose sight of the message of Jesus. “Lessened their humanity…” I’ll be thinking on that phrase today…

  2. Well you’ve got me thinking and it’s a very late hour here so excuse me if I don’t sound coherent. It’s a big topic you touch on. Theres freedom to be found in the loving of people no matter what. It frees us from judgement and trying to change people. It leaves room for God to do the changing. Its what He asks us to do – love people and right along side it He says – He came to give us life and life in abundance – that’s freedom from ourselves. In more practical terms I am constantly grateful for the freedom I enjoy in this amazing country I live in – I try not to take it for granted, I explain it to my children – not everyone lives like this, people die to try and get to this -we are free to worship God, free to earn and get an education, free to buy and sell, free to celebrate – it’s from the hands of God. Mmm not sure this adds anything to the conversation but in the vein of FMF I’m trying not to over think things and speak from the heart. A very interesting post and in five minutes – I’m in awe. I’m off to have a look around your lovely blog – I noticed we share a WordPress theme.

    1. Yes! That balance of room for God to move and for us to be grateful with the fact that freedom is not something everyone experiences – that we live in a broken world… Probably too big a topic for just five minutes, but it’s one I’ve been wrestling with… Thank you for your thoughts and participating in the conversation! I’ll be mulling over your words today.

  3. This is a lovely post. I struggle with loving others whose freedom of choice I don’t understand. But I think this post reminds us of what is most important – love.
    P.S. I was struggling with what to write today and your last question gave me the inspiration I needed. Thank you. 🙂

    1. I’m glad – looking forward to reading your reflection. 🙂 I agree – I can so easily judge those who don’t agree, but that’s the beauty in freedom (and love…) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. The fact that I have the freedom to walk into a room with my head held high and show the love of Christ to anyone and everyone shows the benefit of freedom. I’m happy for it. My parents lived in the time when blacks had to kowtow and were treated as subhuman. Any overtures of friendship and fellowship offered to someone other than “their own kind” were met with suspicion and hate. Hard to love when you can be beaten or put in jail for simply looking someone in the eye. Though I saw pockets of that kind of racism as a child; nowadays that type of ignorance is far and few in between. Our freedoms, based on God’s Word, “endowed by [the] Creator” give me the freedom to love.

    1. Shannon, you are such an example of someone who chooses love. It’s inspiring to me. And, I love hearing more of your story – such a reminder that we are in the midst of redemption.

  5. We do forget to love. We are so often intent on making our ‘opinions’ to be known, we forget the thoughts of others. It is a free choice world we live in. That is a fact.
    Like it or not, God gives us free will and he won’t stop us if we mess up.

  6. Interesting distinction. Much to consider here. The verse in Micah is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing your challenges and challenging us too.

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