Human freedoms – the last one

By Dave Henning / December 8, 2021

“Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”- Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, Holocaust survivor

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?”- Matthew 7:11 (ESV)

In Chapter 9 (“The Choice to REACH”) of Transforming Loneliness, Ruth Graham underscores that reaching out breaks the illusion of being alone.  As a result, reaching out opens the door to recovery from loneliness.

Hence, Ms. Graham’s come up with a simple tool that consists of five steps to take when confronted with feelings of loneliness.  In addition, the five steps serve to remind us of practical choices to reach up to God and out to others.  Here are Ruth’s exact descriptions of each step:

R: Recognize the source, symptoms, and risks of your loneliness.

E: Express your loneliness to God and another person.

A: Anticipate that God will transform your loneliness into something positive and useful for His purposes.

C: Connect with God (reach up) and others (reach out).

H: Honor God in your loneliness by making your loneliness sacred — make it holy by dedicating it to God.

Next, Ms. Graham talks about how to respond with anticipation when confronted with deep and painful loneliness.  Like Abraham, worship God as you place one foot in front of the other on your long journey up the mountain.  Above all, climb your mountain, even though you don’t know how God’s at work.  But, rest fully assured that God is at work for your good and His purposes.

In conclusion, Ruth stresses, making something sacred requires an act of the will.  Therefore, that means letting go of your loneliness.  And entrusting it to God to use if for good as He sees fit.

Today’s question: How do you respond to Viktor Frankl’s assertion in regard to the last of the human freedoms?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The deep friendship and love of Jesus”

About the author

Dave Henning

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