Freedom is an Opportunity

The Bessette Family Loves Being Patriotic May 2014
Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope you all are enjoying some extra summer fun to celebrate this great country we call home. Dan’s brother is in town from Arizona so it’s a Bessette family holiday focus for us. But I did want to do a quick post on a lesson in freedom I recently discovered while reading Elisabeth Hasselback’s book Point of View and then was reinforced when she was recently featured on Jamie Ivey’s podcast The Happy Hour.

 

So often when talking about our country and current events it turns into a battle about being right. Who has the right opinion, who has the right reasons, who has the right solution- so this also means who isn’t in perfect agreement with us is flat out wrong. And we are so preoccupied with being seen as “right” we miss the opportunity to hear what the other person is saying at all. In fact it seems the only opportunities we are taking are to correct and judge one another. Is that how we are supposed to live in this country that believes in freedom for all?

 

No matter what you may think of her – Elisabeth has a brilliant message on this idea. If we are willing to let go of our death grip on being right, this opens our hands up so we can take the hands of another to really listen. We are each connected because we are all people and no single person is better than another – we are just different. Living in a country with the freedom to express these differences also creates a lot of opportunities to put the love for people as a priority and be willing to listen to them.

 

This message – especially with that visual of a death grip on your position, really hit home for me. How often do we feel to let go of our perspective is to abandon who we are as a person. Some sort of violation of what we represent and suddenly someone might not believe us if we dare to take a pause on yelling out our views.  But then Elisabeth spoke directly to my heart.  She explained that as a Christian this idea is not just a good suggestion or a nice idea…. this is a decree of how we are to live our life. It does not say to love everyone, if they agree with you- it says to love everyone PERIOD. And with that I thought – wow. How often do I wonder if I am doing the right thing politically? Should I be more vocal? Should I give to more of the causes I believe in?  How do I make my voice heard? Yet- I am a Christian before I am anything else. So I can stop worrying about political positioning until I get the whole Christian love everyone part right.

 

On this 4th of July I am spending it thinking about the privilege that is our freedom and how as a modern day Christian I choose to honor it. Let me be willing to put my neighbor  before myself and that means be the first one to listen to what they are actually saying – not just getting ready to rebut it.  How about being the one who asks why a person feels a certain way and then chooses to hear their answer, with my heart. We don’t have to all agree, we don’t have to all get along, we don’t have to live the same lives – and best of all its not our responsibility to judge. It is our responsibility to love and if we lead with love, I am betting we will see a lot of good in this life.  If I want to truly be grateful for the gift of freedom, let me be the first one to offer it to others. Wishing you a and your family a lovely 4th of July and God Bless America!

 

Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!
Jackie

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