A line in a well known song…
A line in a well-known song of many years ago said “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” As we prepare to celebrate our nations independence from Great Britain, I could not disagree with that sentiment more. We in the United States of American have enjoyed a freedom unlike any in the history of the world. As is so typical of our human condition, something that was paid for in the blood of others has begun to lose value to those who have paid nothing for the gift.
As a follower of Jesus, I can attest that this is a common condition of man. We have so easily forgotten the sacrifice made on our behalf. If something costs us nothing, we often put little value in that thing which points us back to the fallen state of man. In Galatians chapter 3, Paul points out how from the very beginning man could only be made righteous by faith. The law only pointed out our transgressions and because of our fallen nature was of no redemptive value to us. America, founded on Christian values (yes, I know that will incite some, go check your history) has followed along a similar path. As we watch many in our nation attack and incite violence against their fellow Americans, the realization that we can no more in our fallen nature adhere to the constitution and the laws of our country than those of us who are Christians can follow the laws of God. Our most valiant attempts fall woefully short. That is why we need a savior who paid the price, so that we might be free from sin through Jesus Christ.
I will leave you with a writing by C.S. Lewis that puts it all into perspective.
Born to Be Free
GOD created things which had free will. That means creatures that can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata – of creatures that worked like machines – would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for his higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.
Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently he thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and he wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source. When you are arguing against him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue that all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will – that is, for making a live world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when he pulls the strings – then we may take it it is worth paying. – NIV Men’s Devotional Bible –
Happy Independence Day!