July 4, 2009 at 4:24 am Leave a comment

I do not consider myself an overly patriotic person. I love my country dearly, and would not live anywhere else. But I don’t wear tshirts with flags on them, strictly from a fashion perspective, I’m not making a statement. I don’t get into patriotic country songs, I change the channel when they’re on. I have so much respect and admiration for anyone who has served our country. I appreciate all they are doing and have done. But I just don’t make public displays of patriotism. 

I guess there’s really no big reason, except that I always have put my relationship with God over my status as a citizen. I feel more comfortable claiming Christ than claiming to be an American. I choose to cling to the infallible, rather than the extremely fallible. It’s nothing personal against America, it’s just who I am and the decision I’ve made. 

And I’m free to do that. 

Freedom is a big issue for me. I mean, what are we truly free from? I think about this from a spiritual perspective: free from guilt, shame, eternal punishment, fear, sadness, strongholds and ultimately, death and an eternity in hell. There are so many other things I could have named. Knowing that I’m free from all of that makes me so thankful. 

I can make mistakes and know that I am forgiven and free from the guilt that could attack me for the rest of my life on earth. How awesome. I can face enormous obstacles knowing I’m free from the fear that comes with the unknown. That humbles the mess out of me. 

Freedom can be misinterpreted as free-for-all. Again, from a spiritual perspective, this is a dangerous misconception. I believe we are free from all of the things that are not of God, but I also believe that we should live within the parameters that the Bible has set for us. We are free to be who God wants us to be, but with that freedom come responsibility. (I know that sounds like Spiderman). I am free to live how I want, and at the same time, I have the responsibility to be a representative of Christ wherever I go. I don’t know what that means for you. God works in each of us in different ways. I make my decisions based on what I think God would want me to do. I don’t always, or even mostly, make the right decisions, but I try to keep my motives pure and heart in the right place. I think about my kids and the influence I have on them. I want them to be taught correctly and with honesty. I want them to know freedom and acceptance, while knowing that there are some actions that don’t honor God. It’s a hard, difficult responsibilty to balance all of it, which is why so many people just choose to live a “good life” and just get by with being a nice person. I can’t do that. I believe that Jesus died out of such a whole, complete love for us that it should be a natural response for me to love him in return with my actions. 

So tomorrow, while my family and I celebrate our independence as a nation, I’ll be thankful for my independence from the strongholds of sin. I’ll be thankful for the one who died so that I’ll never be enslaved again. I love my country, I’m proud to be an American. I love my Jesus and I’m proud to be his child. 

God bless America.


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