Today we celebrate. But what do we celebrate? Freedom. Everyone celebrates freedom, or more accurately, the obscure idea we call freedom. But few celebrate real freedom, for many don’t understand real freedom.
Real freedom is not something found on a piece of paper. Freedom isn’t the ability to go across town. Freedom isn’t living in a specific geopolitical region. Freedom is a life that many have lost.
Real freedom is hard work—hard work to gain and to keep. Real freedom is more than a right, it is a worldview. Real freedom comes with a heavy price, but one few are willing to accept or acknowledge.
Many across this nation will watch colored gunpowder explode in the sky, set off small pyrotechnics and explosives in their neighborhoods, and tons of barbeque will be consumed. All the while, many will display or cheer “freedom” while living a life of dependency. Entitlements, government subsidies (i.e., handouts), and the like are the norm today. Many freedom lovers rave about their freedom while being slaves to the state. That is not freedom.
Real freedom is personal responsibility. It is the responsibility to succeed or fail on the merits of one’s own effort. Real freedom is being able to do nothing or do much, and accept the consequences of that choice.
Real freedom is being able to choose, really. However, most of the world is not free. Most of the world are slaves to what we call “human nature,” but what the Bible calls a sinful heart. People are slaves to sin. We sin because that is who we are. Because we are inclined to sin, we engage in it. Just like a bird flies because that is what it is, we sin because that is who we are. We are not free, really. But we can be, and many are.
True freedom is in Jesus Christ. Faith in him alone as Lord and Savior, repenting of our sin, and following Jesus sets us free from that sin nature. Only in Christ are we really free, and only in Christ can we really appreciate the real freedom this nation has to offer, and the real responsibilities that come with that freedom.