It’s Your Thang

A free society places emphasis on the rights of individuals.  This is much to be preferred over social constructs which tolerate no divergence of thought or action.  However, for a free society to stand, individuals must police themselves.  There must be constraints somewhere, or anarchy becomes the order of the day.  The pole of tension between license and legality has always existed, and nations have struggled with the concepts through their rises and falls.  Everyone agrees that there must be a fence somewhere.  It’s the placement of the boundary that is in question.  We want to roam free though some will see this as freedom within a framework, and others believe in a world without borders.  Do whatcha wanna do.

Scripture instructs on both sides of the issue.  On the one hand, there are laws and principles throughout Holy Writ.  It is a mistake to think of the Old Covenant as solely law or the New Covenant as solely grace.  While the generalities hold true, both are present in each.  Laws are inflexible, but principles have a little more give while maintaining their shapes.  In the end they are protective barriers set by God and not of human design.  The counterbalance to these is grace and liberty to be what we were designed to be.  Though God has given us restrictions, He has also given free will which He will not abrogate.  We are able to pursue activities and interests with the biblical instructive that we will answer to God for all things.

How and where the standard is set in our understanding depends largely on its perceived point of origin.  A good number of people firmly believe that right and wrong are societal constructs, and the greatest virtue is to pronounce no virtue higher or greater than another save that of freedom of choice with no condemnation.  To them, this approach translates to love and inoffensive living.  This point of view stands in contrast to those who believe the parameters of morality to be of divine origin.  In other words, they exist outside mankind.  From this point of view, good morality descends from God alone.  The viewpoints share common ground on a few issues with departure concerning issues of self-determination.

We never get it quite right.  The balance between freedom and responsibility, law and grace, hard limits and wise decisions.  In the end, we understand clearly what we once envisioned and see the eruditions and errors of our ways.  For each action there will be a corresponding reaction and for each cause an effect.  The principle is immutable and unforgiving, and the weightless freedom of the fall ends abruptly.  So it is that each of us will encounter misdeeds and miscalculations of varying import and impact.  Mindfulness in our doings is absolute necessity as we navigate in uncertainties.  Each endeavor should be pursued with courage and caution.  We must be humble while attempting heroic deeds.

The Creator allows man freedom of choice.  This liberty is and was not absolute in that once mankind was under a theocracy which rule has been committed to governments today.  We have liberty within limits.  Some will curb their appetites, and others will have their desires diminished by others, but constraints there will be.  Still, the Almighty has granted us the wonderful and fearsome ability to choose.  In addition, He encourages our choices to be made in full confidence but urges us to choose righteously.  The Lord does this for our good since a day is coming when choice will be past and a reckoning the only present.  At that time, God will bring us into judgment for every thought and deed with no respect of persons.

Sterl

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