I wrote on Monday about our freedom and how that freedom is real whether or not the government approves of my behavior or not. I have to, of course, be prepared to deal with the consequences of my actions, but when we think about my actual freedom, it is in no way impinged by government policy whatsoever. I simply have to decide whether or not whatever activity in question is so important for me that I am willing to accept the consequences of my actions.
The hard part about this is that we are a generation that often times doesn’t want to accept responsibility for our choices. Even if we are not talking about situations that are nearly as dire as violating government policy and facing legal action, we don’t like to think that there will ever be a consequence we don’t like because of something they did. We want to control our consequences just like we are able to freely control our actions prior to the consequences.
The problem is that the world doesn’t always work that way. There are natural consequences to certain actions, and if I am going to engage in particular actions, I need to be accepting of the reality that certain consequences might come to be because of that.
Again though, it comes back to the stubborn reality of my freedom. I am the one who is making the choice to engage in these activities, and I similarly have the ability to not engage in these activities if I do not want the consequences.
What this means, however, is that a particular law forces particular consequences on me. A law may cause certain consequences to become possible, but the consequences are never a reality unless I first commit the action that brings about the consequences. It is possible that I could get a speeding ticket if I drive too fast and lose my driver’s license, but the law does not make me lose my driver’s license even though that’s what people often times say.
I actually exercise my freedom in a way, despite knowing the consequences, that can lead to the consequence of losing my driver’s license. It begins and ends with my freedom, and because of that, we need to be very careful when we make decisions. Yes, it is tempting to blame everyone else in the world, and there are bad laws. I’m not saying every law is just or good.
Like for example I talked about on Monday, I really think it is a bad idea for societies to put Christians in jail just for being Christians. That is a bad law.
However, no one goes to jail because the law is in place. Christians are to jail because they make the free decision to be Christians and accept the consequences of that action. Yes, it is unjust, and yes, it is terrible. We have to remember the words of Jesus Christ nevertheless. Throughout His ministry, He warned us that the world was not going to be our friend if we took His side.
The reason for the consequences regardless is because of the action. We all must make a choice then to determine whether or not any action we take is worth the consequences we are going to face because of it, legal or otherwise.