Uncertain Faith

Finding the courgage to live with uncertainity

Responsibility

Butch Rogers

21 Sep, 2015

The Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was known to say, "There should be two statues in America, a statue of liberty on the east coast and a statue of responsibility on the west coast."  Frankl believed the greatest gift to humanity is freedom, and each human being's  gift to humanity is responsibility.  The freedom Frankl spoke of is not nationalistic freedom, but a freedom of spirit that every person possesses regardless of their circumstances.  He spent time in a German concentration camp where the oppressors tried in every way to dehumanize the prisoners.  One of his core beliefs was that one human being cannot rob another human being of the freedom they possess in their spirit.  Frankl's resolve to keep his freedom of spirit alive, coupled with fulfilling his responsibility to his fellow prisoners and oppressors kept him alive during his imprisonment.


I understand what freedom of the spirit is, because it is obvious that each one of us has the freedom to decide how we will act and think. What a wonderful gift!  But with this gift comes responsibility.  Freedom and responsibility are the opposite sides of the same coin.  I clearly understand what responsibility means.  Simply stated, its doing the right thing in whatever situation we find ourselves in.  I do struggle to understand abstract words like love.  The reality is that I love some people and do not love others.  This has always caused me to struggle in light of how Scripture "commands" us to love.  Frankl has given me a new perspective.  I understand what it means to live responsibly.  In my relationships it means not saying (or posting) the things that are in my mind and heart, being courteous when I really want to be rude, acknowledging and not judging people who think and act differently than me, and doing something to help someone when the occasion arises.   As a friend of mine recently pointed out, maybe this is the love that Jesus spoke of.   Maybe it is, even so, responsibility is a word I understand and one that helps me to put my faith into action.

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