I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Not just because of the barbecue and picnic, or the family time, the warm weather, and fireworks (although I do love all of those things). But I love what the 4th of July celebrates. I love the reminder every year that America is free because of the brave. It’s a story of grit and determination, of opportunity and chance, of hope and faith. It’s a reminder that all of the liberties I hold dear came at a price, and that it is my duty to defend those liberties no matter the cost.
Lately I have been pondering the idea of freedom. Freedom is a result of independence. And even though many of us live in a country that has fought and won its independence, we as individuals are far from free. It is oftentimes of our making–the ties that bind us–for these symbolic ties do not have to be there. Yet many of us live our lives day-after-day chained to our past, clinging to guilt, to pain, to heartache, to rejection, to anger, to unforgiveness. These ties begin to define us, and if we’re not careful, they hold us back from our divine destiny and purpose in God. The question remains why do we stay bound when someone has already bought and paid for our independence? Jesus paid that ultimate price so that we could be truly free from these ties that bind. It’s like if a prisoner had his shackles unlocked and was told that he now had freedom. What prisoner would place his wrists and ankles back into the shackles and choose to stay in their bondage? We know how absurd that sounds. The prisoner–once granted freedom–is going to run in that newfound freedom.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
This Bible verse means that you do not have to be that prisoner any longer. Whatever it is that is holding you back–fear, anger, hurt, doubt–should not set up a tent in your heart. Let it go. And bask in the freedom that Christ offers.