President’s Perspective: Freedom

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As our country rolls out the red white and blue, we have the opportunity to reflect on our freedoms. And to be honest, some of those freedoms are currently in jeopardy.

We have many freedoms “from.”  Freedom from an oppressive government and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure are just a couple. We also have basic freedoms “of”. Freedom of religion, freedom of free speech, freedom of the press, and several others.

But we also have freedoms “to.” And it is those that we often fail to remember.  Freedom to see each person as an equal, a child of God. It shouldn’t matter if they are in high political office, or a tramp on the street, a movie icon, or a person sitting in a jail cell.

We have the freedom to treat each person we encounter with care and respect. Age, position, political persuasion, color, gender religious conviction, and lifestyle choices highlight differences between us. However, we should not allow these differences to cause us to treat others in a way inconsistent with the way Jesus treated those who He met in His daily life while He was on this earth.

As you recall, Jesus reached out to the prostitute and tax collector, with the same love that he reached out to the Pharisee and the rich. He took time for the outcast, the reject, the leper. And it is to this standard we are called to treat those whom we meet.

The standard to which we are called is a higher standard than the world’s. We are called to represent Jesus, clearly, tenderly, and patiently. Jesus said, “These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:17. He also says, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”  John 13:35.

I pray that in this time of disputes, rioting, anger, hostility, and hate, that you and I will be a breath of fresh air. That we will not be a victim of these emotions and actions, but with freedom given to us by God, truly love each person placed in our path. So let’s roll out the red, white and blue, but let’s also roll out love so that others will see Jesus through us.

Mike Edge, Wisconsin Conference President