In my pre-Jesus days, I saw Christianity as a religion full of rules. From the outside looking in, Christians appeared to adhere to lots of behaviors that I believed would restrict my “rights” and how I wanted to live my life. Why would someone give up rights? Why would someone want to follow even more rules? As I understand now, I was missing the Gospel in this line of thinking. I was missing Jesus.
I stumbled my way into putting my faith in Jesus my freshman year of college. I struggled, and still do, to put to death my old ways of thinking about Christianity and all the rules. Thankfully, along the way, freedom has been redefined for me.
Freedom in Christ has changed my life.
I am freed from my own sin, in Christ. I am freed from my insecurities, in Christ. I am freed from worldly pressures to make millions, lose weight and create a name for myself, in Christ. I am freed from thinking I can do it all… and acting on that thought, in Christ. I am a hot mess. I am a sinner. I fail to believe the best about people and love them well. But God loved me so much that He refused to let sin be the end of my story.
I’m fortunate enough to live in America, a country that celebrates freedom on this day every year. Freedom is what originally separated America from the rest of the world in the 18th century. Freedom also separates Christianity from many other world religions (because of grace).
The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. It reminds me of just how desperately we all desire to be free. The early Americans were thought to be rebels, but in reality they were freedom fighters. Sick of the rules and regulations of the King of England, they said, “No thanks.” Today and every other day, I can say, “No thanks to my sin,” and instead choose to live in freedom. Contrary to the colonists, I am the very thing that holds me captive. I desperately desire to be free, thankfully in Christ, it’s a decision I can make, and have to make, daily.
So here’s to today, when I can celebrate my freedom as an American, and how that freedom is just a glimpse of my freedom in Christ. #snapsforfreedom