Yesterday, we celebrated Independence Day. The Red, White, and Blue waved over many households. Fireworks exploded around us. We enjoyed time with family and we had an opportunity to be grateful for God’s providence in establishing this great land of America.
Whenever we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we remember the final words, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” On a national level, this makes sense. Yet, consider these words in a different context, a spiritual context. What changes?
For me, I am glad God doesn’t give “justice for all.” I’m glad He is a dispenser of mercy as well. Additionally, I believe the way the Founding Fathers (and Mothers!) understood liberty may be different from today’s generation. Today, liberty means I have the freedom to do whatever I want. This was not true nationally, nor is it true spiritually.
Paul deals with the concept of Christian liberty in Galatians 5:13. He says that we have “been called unto liberty.” Yet, the verse does not stop there. He continues, “Only use not liberty as an occasion to the flesh…” He provides an example of how liberty is NOT to be used. Liberty is not to excuse your fleshly desires and cloak them with spiritual terminology. Then he provides an example of what Christian liberty is, “…but by love serve one another…”
True Christian liberty is the ability and freedom we have to serve others and to serve Christ. This really is the recipe for lasting joy.
So, the next time you recite that pledge, think about your Christian liberty and also be grateful that God also gives mercy!