1 Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
July brings an opportunity to celebrate our freedom as Americans and remember those who helped the earliest Americans gain independence. Many of the fireworks displays we traditionally enjoy have been canceled due to health concerns, but we can still celebrate and give thanks for the freedoms we have by thanking military personnel and veterans, and by using our rights and freedoms for the good of others.
The letter to the Corinthian church reminds us of some of the freedom people gain in Christ, stressing that life in Christ isn’t about our financial or religious status, our job, our race or our gender.
Whether we are talking about the rights we have according to the laws of the United States or the freedom we have in Jesus, it’s important to focus on more than our individual rights.
Both our democracy and Christianity, when practiced with justice and mercy, express care not only about our own rights and the rights of individuals, but also about liberty and justice for all our neighbors.
The Declaration of Independence says, “All men are created equal”. The Bible says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).” No one, by race, gender, etc. is to be considered better or worse than others. The law is meant to apply equally to all, and God’s grace applies to all.
The fight for justice, freedom, and equality within certain groups has been at the forefront of our news for the past several weeks. Some feel deprived of certain rights under the orders proclaiming to keep us safe and healthy. Others feel oppressed by race issues.
Time and commitment on the part of everyone will be needed before all people experience freedom, justice, and equal treatment. Consider spending a little extra time this month asking God what part you can play in God’s work of transformation, and then do your part with God’s guidance so all Gods children can truly celebrate Independence Day.