Paul wrote to the Galatian church, “Give thanks for your freedom, but don’t use your freedom for selfish purposes. Use your freedom in order to help other people.” (Galatians 5:13)
Everyone in America is the recipient of the freedom that has been given to us by the sacrifice of people in the past. History was first written in blood before it was written in ink!
It’s easy to forget what others have done and focus on how we can profit from our freedom. That runs counter to what Paul was teaching. Here are some areas to consider:
- Religious Response—our faith always begins with a commitment to Jesus Christ, but sometimes we don’t go beyond that. We confess our sins and are forgiven, but then some people think that’s the end. It’s only the beginning.
Some people think that all we need is to confess Jesus as Savior. He has died to save us from our sins. He also desires to be our Lord which means that the forgiveness of our sins expresses itself in a life that’s patterned after His teachings.
Holiness means that we live like the Bible teaches and Jesus demonstrated. Living the Christian faith is confirmation that our sins have been forgiven and we are free. Freedom does not mean that we can pick and choose what to obey in the Bible, but real freedom exists when we are free to follow after Jesus.
- Patriotic Freedom—So many people have given their lives to give us this freedom. We are a free people. It would be hard to find any other place in the world where we could experience such freedom as citizens.
But that freedom must not be abused. Our freedom should never mean that we can do what we want. We have been given a constitution which outlines how our freedom ought to be expressed.
We should not be casual about celebrating July Fourth, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, or any day. We have turned so many of these important days into holidays.
Remember that your freedom was given as a gift to you. You did not earn that freedom. You do have a responsibility to pass it on to your children and grandchildren.
- Freedom’s Purpose—Paul says that we are set free in order that we might use our freedom to serve. Freedom isn’t given to us to sit back and enjoy and boast about. Our freedom has been given to us so that we might use it to serve others.
Jesus made it clear that He didn’t come to be served but to serve. (Matthew 28:20) Often times the thought in the world today is “What’s in it for me?” Real joy comes when we give thanks for our freedom and use our freedom as a platform to serve other people.
The greatest joy in life comes when we lose our lives in service. Jesus said that if we want to try to save our lives, we will lose them. If we lose our lives in His service, we’ll discover the real meaning of life. (Matthew 10:39)
Freedom was given for a purpose. Are you fulfilling that purpose?