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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Insidious Side of Oppression

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. -Martin Luther King Jr. 

If we direct an attitude of self-denial (or fasting) toward social action, where will our "pointing finger" be likely to point first? Are you guilty of any forms of oppression to others at work, church or socially? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition page 1042).

In Bible times slavery was an accepted institution. Sometimes even St. Paul seemed to be okay with it. Now I think we will all say thankfully it is seen as quite otherwise, and we can pause in wonderment that it could have ever seemed right to enslave others. 

I often think of our society and wonder what people from another era will look back upon as shameful oppressions that we tolerated and did not even perceive as such. My prayer today is that God will allow us to think outside the box and see clearly our world and its institutions within the convicting light of truth. Certainly there is no hope of us ever getting out of the box unless we exercise kindness extensively in our everyday lives. We must come to understand that the evil of oppression is obdurate and freedom from it requires eternal vigilance and God's holy light.

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