What Are You Doing With Your Freedom?

What's worse than burning the flag on the Fourth? How about squandering your freedom!

In 1776, Thomas Paine penned these words: 

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; ‘tis dearness only that gives everything its value.

At times I wonder if we've lost the dearness of our freedom. In his book, Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity, Charles Swindoll writes:

Did you know that of the fifty-six courageous men who signed that original document in Philadelphia, many did not survive the war that followed? Five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Nine others died in the Revolutionary War, either from its hardships or its bullets. Twelve had their homes sacked, looted, burned, or occupied by the enemy. Two lost their sons in battle. One had two sons captured. Yes, the price of freedom was high indeed for those men. But deciding to be free, to think and live independently, to soar above the masses is always a costly decision.

Soaring above the masses is still a costly decision. The masses love to consume freedom. The masses bark about rights. The masses belly-up to the table expectantly waiting for Lady Liberty to "bring the feast." The masses are quick to salute those who make the sacrifice; slower to consider what sacrifice means for themselves.

The patriots of our country have always operated by a different code. Theirs is a language of responsibility and an ethic of sacrifice. They celebrate freedom, but shun selfishness.

Selfishness has never been the practice of patriots, nor is it the biblical ethic. Speaking of our freedom in Christ, Paul writes:

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
— Galatians 5:13 ESV

Christians see freedom -- both their freedom in Christ and their freedom as citizens of a free country -- as a gift of God. Freedom is bought and paid for at great sacrifice. Freedom is precious. Freedom is not to be squandered in selfish pursuits, but stewarded wisely for the glory of God and the good of others.

What are you doing with your freedom? Here are five ways to steward it well on Independence Day . . . and on every day:

  1. Thank God for His hand of blessing on our country. Daniel 4:17,25,32
  2. Be subject to the government. Pay your taxes. Romans 13:1-6
  3. Give honor to those who protect our freedom. Romans 13:7
  4. Pray for those in political office. 1 Timothy 2:1-6
  5. Serve someone in love today. Galatians 5:13

Happy Independence Day!

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  • "Did you know ..." from Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity by Charles R. Swindoll. Waco, TX: Word Books. 1987, page 51.