NAACP executive secretary suggested the Mall, and because it is a national monument, Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, did the planning and arranging. The crowd stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. Even though she could, and did, sing many Italian arias from the operas she sang across Europe, Miss Anderson's first song was "My Country Tis of Thee." One wonders if the irony shook the ground as she sang the lyrics, "Let freedom ring."
To Americans, liberty is almost a sacred word. As Christians, we, too, have liberty, but we seem to have misplaced the emphasis. Most of the verses that proclaim our freedoms are talking about freedom from sin and the liberty we have in Jesus. What we often want to proclaim instead is the liberties to do certain right things no matter the consequences. Can we just point out today that it is possible to do right things and still be wrong?
Right things can become wrong when they are given too high a priority for their actual level of importance. There are many things that are right to do, but when they keep us from doing things more necessary, when they allow us to excuse ourselves from duties God has given us, they become wrong. When we use our work, for example, to excuse our serving, that right thing—making a living and providing for our families—has become wrong.
Right things can become wrong when they are done from the wrong motivation. How many times have you thought of "doing good to your enemies" as the ultimate revenge instead of the correct attitude of heart for a disciple of Christ? But God commends his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8).
Right things can become wrong when they will leave an obviously wrong impression. This one can be abused by petty tyrants who want to micromanage everyone else's life according to their sensibilities, but when the babes (not the wolves) are involved, we must bend over backwards. …but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (Rom 12:17).
Right things can become wrong when they cause others to sin. Don't use that word "offend" because you will miss the point. This isn't about someone who considers himself a strong Christian not liking what you are doing. This is a babe who does not have the knowledge that he needs to understand difficult distinctions. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to the weak. (1Cor 8:9).
Right things can become wrong when they come between me and my service to God. It is good to care for your physical temple. It is not good to spend more time on that than you spend on serving God, or when something like obsessive dieting keeps you from spending time with brethren or fulfilling the sacred duty of hospitality.
While the world may consider a Christian's life to be a life of chains, they do not understand the true liberties we have in Christ. We are no longer in bondage to sin and Satan and the corruption of this world. We can control ourselves and are not "mastered by anything." But we must always remember to use those liberties wisely and compassionately, with tender regard to the weak and those we are trying to reach. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of our freedom.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:22-23).