Even when things are at their worst (which they're not—yet—of course) there's always plenty to celebrate. Afterall, there's a higher kingdom at work than those we build for ourselves. But it's also important to lament evil and to acknowledge when goodness and freedom are actively being eroded by bad players. Our job in response, though, is to fight against fear, despair, and bitterness and to pursue greater wisdom and freedom year by year.
There's bad news, and there's good news. To borrow a phrase from Al Gore, there's an "inconvenient truth" that we probably all wish we could ignore: America is not the good guys anymore.
I mean we're still the greatest nation in the history of the world and the greatest nation in the world today. We're still a force for good and freedom. But within our own borders we are becoming the very thing we used to hate while pandering to the very countries who'd like to erase us. I don't really like saying this out loud, but, sadly, some of our fears and conspiracy theories have become reality. Because I know you're likely the kind of person who insists on hearing bad news immediately, I'll start with that first.
The Bad News First
- A left-leaning, one-sided justice system protecting one political class while incriminating the other.
- Outright and repeated attacks on free speech and the 2nd amendment.
- Federal and state power used to corrupt fair elections.
- Big pharma and big tech serving as a proxy to the deep state.
- Conservatives demonized as threats to democracy.
- Defending the heinous acts of Hamas terrorists.
- Defending the killing of thousands of Americans on September 11.
I realize none of this is a surprise to you, but I think this is kind of the first time I've voiced these dark realities without a hint of humor or irony or the hope that it's all just a big misunderstanding. It's real and it's brazen and it's being framed by media and the halls of power as a defense of democracy and justice. This is bad news.
I think we have some interesting years ahead of us as a nation. But there's also good news, and the good news begins with you and me. No matter how interesting things become for us and our children and our grandchildren and those who still want to uphold the ideas and ideals of our great nation, freedom is still an inalienable right endowed by our Creator.
The Good News
Freedom begins at the individual level. The chief reason freedoms are threatened at the national level is because enslavement has been imbibed and embraced at the level of the individual. When we give in to our base desires, our need for immediate gratification, our craving for comfort and our disdain for the constraints set by the laws of nature and reality, this is enslavement masquerading as freedom.
Doing what I want when I want feels like liberation until reality comes to collect the toll. And reality always collects.
So aside from politics and government and all that's taking place within the power structures of the world, here's the challenge we face in 2024 and in the years to come--are we growing in freedom or moving away from it? Are you choosing freedom, day by day year by year, in the choices that you make?
We're all prone to drift down the easy path--toward debt, addiction, seeking comfort in destructive behaviors, taking the path of least resistance rather than the arduous and incremental path of strong character and self sufficiency.
So being prepared for what's coming doesn't simply require the food, water, and ammo for the zombie apocalypse. It requires our daily decisions to not give in to the tyranny of our cravings. So if you're covered in debt or caught in a lifestyle or addiction, you might not be able to change all this overnight. In fact, real change rarely happens overnight.
But are you moving toward greater freedom. Will you be more free at the end of 2024 than you were at the end of 2023. That's my hope for you and for me. A little more free each year.
While comfort can be a good thing, seeking comfort at the wrong time in the wrong way can send us to an early grave--both physically and spiritually.
No matter how the political landscape changes, each day has moments when you have a choice--a vote, if you will--toward greater freedom.
Part of this, for me, is spending time alone with God, praying and reading scripture. This sets a framework through which I am able to see the day and its battles more clearly and with greater capacity to fight.
What disciplines will you begin to establish to inch you more and more in the right direction? Who do you have in your life to help strengthen you in your weakest areas? How are you training yourself and preparing yourself daily for the battles--both physical and spiritual--that are coming your way?
Train Hard. Train Smart. Let's move toward greater freedom in 2024.