The last of the human freedoms

By Dave Henning / July 25, 2018

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’w own attitude in any given set of circumstnces, to choose one’s own way.”- Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist in Vienna, Auschwitz survivor

John Ortberg concludes Chapter 7 of When the Game is Over as he notes that we all, like Daniel, spend some time in Babylon.  When that happens, we must not dwell on what we’ve lost.  Rather, we need to ask “What do I have left?  Where can I still take my turn?”

The Greek philosopher Epictetus refused to worry about things out of his control.  Instead, he focused on things within his control.  He once wrote:

“Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires, and the things that repel us.  These areas are quite rightly our concern, because they are directly subject to our influence.  We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives.”

Therefore, Pastor Ortberg encourages us not to surrender one specific thing – our spirit.  Because you’re not defined by your circumstances and limitations.  Consequently, psychologist Dan Baker expresses that thought with these words: “There is a you in you nobody put there.”

In conclusion, John encouragesus to go on a Daniel adventure for the next ten days.  First, pick some area where you’ll take concrete action.  Second, choose to honor God in your chosen area.  Pastor Ortberg explains:

“Never give up your spirit.  Never yield emotionally.  Take action.  Do something — even if you’re not sure what.  Taking action helps prevent sinking into helplessness. . . .  Remember Daniel and the ‘Now God’ factor.  When you resolve in your own heart to honor God, he becomes involved in your life in ways you cannot see.  It’s your turn now.”

Today’s question: What human freedoms do you cherish most?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “At the end, you can’t change real life”

About the author

Dave Henning

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