We Americans are just as passionate about our freedom as we were when the ink was still fresh on the Declaration of Independence. It doesn’t matter which way you lean politically or what your religious preference might be. As Americans, liberty is hard-wired into our national DNA. We all crave the freedom to believe what we want to believe, say what we want to say and do what we want to do.
Ironically, this is sometimes what divides our country most of all. We’re a nation of people with different politcal perspectives passionately defending our divergent points-of-view. Yet, one of the things that unites us is believing in a place where we all have the right to do it.
In fact, nothing ticks Americans off like infringing on our free speech. You want a fight on your hands? Try to censor us. There’s nothing that riles a US Citizen like trying to shut us up.
Say what you will against America (after all it’s a free country), but one look at the wave of revolution that’s rocked the Middle East this year tells you that not everyone is lucky enough to have what we have, but everyone seems to want it.
The desire for freedom isn’t just an American thing. It’s a human thing. It’s a God thing.
Everybody wants to be free because we’re made that way. God gave us a free will so that our lives and choices would matter. He gave us a free will so that we could be like Him. He gave us a free will even though this means we are all free to reject Him.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” It’s just how God rolls.
He didn’t give us a free will to let some human tyrant take it away from us, and deep inside we all know that. But the crazy thing is that sometimes, as free as we are politically, we surrender our spiritual freedom like it was nothing.
Some of us are slaves to religion, valuing rules and appearances over our relationship with God. Some of us are slaves to our appetites and addictions. Some of us are slaves to debt, approval, success, fear, bitterness or regret.
But deep inside we all know we were made to be free. God longs for our freedom. He died for our freedom. The original war of Independence was fought and won on the cross.
Jesus said if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
So today, I’m going to celebrate my political freedom, because I love my country and I’m blessed to have been born here. But I’m also going to give thanks for my spiritual freedom and look for the places in my heart where I’ve surrendered it to be a slave to something else.
I love my freedom too much to settle for anything less.