FREEDOM COSTS: Across our nation; we are celebrating the life and accomplishments of a great man (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and the woman who stood by his side (Soror Coretta Scott King)! We celebrate them and others who have impacted this nation; many with their lives. Much changed this evolved this past half-century. However, greater change must occur! Today’s complacency and division in the house has caused us to face aggressive movements towards regression. What are you willing to give to see change on a continuum towards true justice, equity, and civil liberties? Beforehand, know it will cost!!!
We cannot remain in a state of complacency and ignorance! Freedom is not free. Are you willing to pay the price of group empowerment vs. self-gratification? Freedom is not free. It is costly. Are you willing to love greater in the house and beyond? Are you willing to esteem others (Philippians 2:3-5), and set aside the monotonous striving for personal gain and fame. If so, freedom will involved commitment. Are you willing to return to the polls, and then encourage others to vote? Will you rally to end sex-trafficking of women and children? Freedom costs time and energy. You will need a fierce determination to ensure quality education for all students in Ohio. Are you willing to take a short drive to Columbus to engage in conversation for legislation that will stop privatized prison and the multi-million dollar pipe-line-to-prison for African American youth?
The movement towards freedom and justice is costly! It will require mentoring a child early and encouraging them to prepare for college or a trade school, where they will gain knowledge and a sense of hope. In doing so, it will afford more students becoming productive members of this society. Freedom will cost, greatly, as we gather strategies in our professional groups for healing and wholeness in this splintered nation. Many have given so much. What are you willing to give, today?
Rev. Larry Howard, pastor of the Historic Greater Friendship Baptist Church, agrees with me. This morning, at Mt. Olive Baptist Church (Rev. Larry Harry, Pastor), before the United Pastors in Mission (UPI) and other ministerial groups present, Rev. Howard strongly proclaimed : “FREEDOM AIN”T FREE!. . . How long will we refuse to take advantage of opportunities provided to us? . . . The price for freedom is too high to ignore.” We must stand boldly and speak to power. We can do so, together, in Christ, and maintain the freedoms that we have achieved. Therefore, let us not become entangled in bondage, again; be it physical, emotional, or spiritual (Gal. 5:1.). We must realize how many brave women and men (i.e. Shirley Chisholm, civil rights advocate and the 1st female presidential candidate, Dorothy Heights (NCNW), Edgar Meger (NAACP) Diane Nash (SNCC), Amelia Boynton, Fanny Lou Hamer, Stephany Tubbs, Rosa, Malcolm, Jessie, and Martin (Dr. King), and so many others) gave themselves for our freedom. So stand, we must! Stand and be willing to give, also. “Freedom Ain’t Free!”
Yes, freedom is costly. What will you give? Perhaps, in 2018, you will stop the usage of demeaning words (“N_ _ _ _ _), negative thoughts, and negative emotions (jealousy, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness)? Do we not receive enough slanderous propaganda from others who believe we are less than and worthless “s_ _ _ _holes”? As we speak life to each other, our hearts are bind closer and a door is open greater for collaborative engagement. Yes, freedom will cost us personally. Are you willing to give?
As we continue to celebrate Dr. King and those who have paved the way before us, be ready to channel that energy into action, once the party is over. What will you give? How will you give? Let us begin by learning how to love one another (Luke 10:27); encourage one another; and esteeming others higher (Phil. 2:1-5). In 2018, as we begin to unite our efforts, not being concern to whom the credit will go, then we will begin to “see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living” (Amos 5:24 NIV).
Yes, FREEDOM costs. What will you, personally, give towards such?
WORD: Do what is right; love mercy, and walk humbly before God (Micah 6:8).