Today I complete my expressions of gratitude for freedom. I think that we should all focus much more than we do on the freedoms we now have and worry less about the ones we are losing, as discouraging as it is to lose them.
I believe that we have more freedom than most countries because we have a heritage of the belief in God as the source of freedom. The apostle Paul tells us that where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom. Obviously, as we lose one, we lose the other. Jesus in a very famous statement said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Although almost everyone acknowledges the importance of truth as a precusor to freedom, there is widespread disagreement as to what is true. Much of the problem, I believe, is the fact that we tend to forget the first part of the scripture. "Then spake Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, 'If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." It is clear that there are at least three things necessary for us before we can be free-- belief, obedience, and truth. Too often we forget the importance of the first two. Jesus spoke to people who were, if not in bondage, at least, in subjection to a foreign power, and therefore, not really politically free. His prescription, therefore, is more intended to apply to us as individuals and families. We are, or at least have been, "a free country" because many individuals in our country followed the formula.
On this Thanksgiving I hope and pray that I can be truly grateful for the freedoms I have, but more importantly, determine to deepen my belief in God, strengthen the resolve to be obedient to the truths I already have, and expand my knowledge of truth so I may increase the measure of freedom I already enjoy. That would be my wish this season for us all.