By Judy Brandon: CNJ religion columnist
Think about it: daytime talk shows can be really offensive. The very strange and weird is more the ordinary or normal on these shows. For some of these shows, producers and hosts all connive to parade guests that boast about deceitful and immoral living. The audience usually applauds when these people “spill” their story.
I am confounded as to the mindset of the audiences and the scandals that they appreciate. Some of the shows are so unbelievable that I have to think that the guests who appear are really just paid to make up crazy stories about their lives.
One day several years ago while channel surfacing, I happened upon one of these shows. Flashed across the screen of the television was that day’s topic: “They Say They Want to Be Free!” That interested me so I listened.
First, there was a young girl who was caught up in a street scene in downtown Los Angeles. She was addicted to cocaine and the dangerous area in which she roamed lent itself to trouble. When asked by the host why she continued to subject herself to that kind of environment and potential trouble she replied, “I just love my independence. Nobody tells me what to do or when to do it. I just do my own thing.”
Next they switched to a rebel teenager who ran away form home at 12. He was now 17. His parents joined the show by satellite. The pleading and begging of the youngster’s parents in an attempt to get him to come home fell on deaf ears. His response was insolent. “You have no right to tell me how to live my life. I alone have the freedom to do that. I am old enough to rely on my own independence.” Defiantly the child then told his parents that he would be happier he never saw them again.
Then there was the estranged couple who was reunited on the show. The woman though brought along the man she was now “involved” with. She had left her husband and their three children for this man. She proceeded to explain in front of national television all her husband’s shortcomings. The wife then said, “It is only in my new boyfriend that I have found real freedom to let me be me!” The children sat on stage in dismay.
One has to stop and think: Where does that kind of freedom lead?
Crippling addiction? Youngsters in deep trouble before even reach 18? Families torn apart and children’s lives affected all due to selfishness?
Doing exactly what we please without thinking of God’s will leads us to a life of self-centeredness, sin and eventually a kind of slavery to the consequences of those attitudes.
Jesus said that real freedom lies in freedom in him. He said: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32). Trusting and obeying Christ gives us true freedom — freedom from shame, sin, and the feeling of no self worth.
One old Montana rancher made his point on freedom very clear. He noted that young colts left without restraints and boundaries would wander off into danger and eventual death. That is why he went to such an extent to build fences around his land. Could it be the same with us? When Christ is in control our thought process, the boundaries are clearly defined and that makes for true freedom.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org