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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, August 31

Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.
—Galatians 5:13

Freedom. Easily said. Difficult to live.

When I think about our nation’s life, I recall the sacrifices of the “greatest generation.” In the face of atrocities, generations before us gave up their lives for freedom throughout Europe, the Pacific, and beyond. 

But when I heard my grandparents speak of those days, they spoke of more than soldiers giving their lives for country. In fact, my grandfather never once said, “I did this or gave this up for America alone.” I still hear him say: “It was a world war.”

My grandfather understood the complexity of his service to country, and that included a deep solidarity with the English and French. But it also included a wider, deeper comprehension of solidarity with the Jew and the Germans or Japanese trapped within their systems. While his language reflected the necessity of defeating the enemy and the evil that pervaded the time, there was a deeper language of love—love of peace, life, and liberty.

And isn’t freedom ultimately about love? Freedom to disagree, to practice
our religion, to speak freely in a society dedicated to the liberty of all people? Freedom to see that every human being deserves to be honored and treated with dignity?

Gracious God, give me courage to let freedom live within my heart each day, that I might respect the dignity of every human being and not just those who are like me. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.