Holten: Free Hope
Kevin Holten shares his thoughts on the importance of freedom as a fundamental human desire that is essential for the survival of mankind and how it allows for and nurtures hope.
Do you know what freedom is? According to Mr. Dictionary, it is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Does that mean you can do what you want whenever you want? No, of course not. And yet, without freedoms, mankind will cease to exist.
How do I know that? Because God, the creator of everything, made it a priority when He created mankind. In other words, despite its risks to His creation, He put it at the top of His list and to mankind He gave “freewill”.
In fact, the Bible is filled with verses about freedom. For example, 2 Corinthians 3:17 says that now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Galatians 5:1 says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. And Galatians 5:13-14 says that you my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Does that mean freedom is free? No, it is because of sacrifice and battles, both physical and spiritual, that we can experience the gift of freedom today. Of course, Christ was referring to freedom from sin. But is that all He is referring to? Of course not. Freedom is a gate through which all things flow. But as it says in Galatians, use it wisely.
Now I’m no expert on the Bible, religion, politics or much of anything. And yet, I’ve lived enough decades to know that freedom is man’s greatest desire. And if you are predisposed to restrict it, you should be aware that at some point you will be trampled in a stampede. Because mankind is willing to wage a huge, all-encompassing, global world war if necessary to get it back. And those who are bent on restricting it will never cease to fail in their endeavors.
Peter Marshall was a Scottish-American preacher at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. And he once said this: “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” And President Abraham Lincoln once said that those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.
It’s kind of like the laws of gravity. If you throw a rock into the air, be prepared for it to come back down. If you slander someone, you will be slandered. And if you tend to self-promote yourself, be prepared to someday end up at the back of the line. Likewise, if you steal someone’s liberties, be prepared to lose your own.
I once said, in a previous column, that the most important ingredient in life is love. And that one of the reasons that love is so important is because it gives us the second most important ingredient in life, and that is hope. Without hope, we cannot survive. And that’s why freedom is so important. Because it allows for and nurtures hope.
Dr. Orison Swett Marden was an American author who wrote about achieving success in life and founded SUCCESS magazine in 1897. And he said that there is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.