Pastor’s Corner – Independence Day!
This article is essentially a re-run form July 4th 2012. It might be even more appropriate today than it was then!
We love our independence don’t we?!? From the young child who can walk for the first time or can finally say “I do it mySELF!” to the teenager who can drive (finally), or the elderly who no longer can, our independence is important to us. July 4th is especially celebratory for me because it was on July 5th (yes, the day after Independence Day) I met my bride to be. Also, July 5th is the day our second child was born! How poetic right? (We can add Pastor Matt’s wedding to this list of July 5th celebrations!)
Two hundred and forty-four years ago, we celebrated our independence as a country; free to do our own thing–free to worship, to pursue happiness, to follow our dreams. But, what happens when we think we are free from everything that doesn’t impact us directly? When every person says “I am free to do whatever I want!” we have nothing left but chaos and selfishness. We have people serving for their own gain rather than sacrificing for the sake of the greater good.
This country is great because, historically, people willingly gave up their freedoms so the next generation could remain free. We, too, need to give up our freedoms or the next generation will inherit nothing but a selfish, prideful, mess. When societies no longer sacrifice willingly, they become forced to sacrifice through political legislation or other authoritative means.
This isn’t just my opinion, it is biblical. God teaches us through Paul that we have freedom as Christians, but within that freedom comes the responsibility to determine what is good, constructive, and beneficial (1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23.) What helps me keep a good perspective on how I use my freedom is to remember I don’t have a “right” to be free. Freedom was fought for, sacrificed for, and a high price was paid so I could have this awesome gift I now enjoy.
I am sure you notice the similarity between our current freedom and our Christian freedom. We can’t walk around bragging we are free because we didn’t pay for it! (Romans 3:21-24, 27.) We can pass the gift on, teach others what a blessing it is and encourage them to live in that same freedom. Passing on the freedom to the next generation requires sacrifice of the generation before it. As you consider your freedom this weekend, remember the price paid by others and honor them, honor HIM, by using that freedom, using your life to bring glory to God and share freedom with the world.
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” 1 Corinthians 10:23.
His servant and Yours,