It is for freedom that Christ has set us free … But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:1,13-14
The Fourth of July is all about freedom and independence. But the Fifth of July is even more important. The Fifth of July is when we find out what that freedom is for.
Independence is not an end in itself. Freedom is not autonomous. It does not stand alone. Freedom’s fulfillment is not in creating an environment where everyone can do as they please, but in setting people free to serve something higher than self.
Sometimes we get so focused on our freedoms that we forget that freedom is for something. Freedom operates alongside other qualities, most of them more important that freedom itself. We are not set free so we can enslave others; we are set free to serve. We are not set free to break the law, but to follow it. We are not set free to indulge ourselves, but to consider others as more important than ourselves. We are not set free to abuse and bully, but to love and lift up.
If you can do anything you want, then what do you want to do? If the answer to that question only involves yourself, it is the wrong answer. We function in a body. We have gifts, but they are not for us.
Freedom gets abused when we use it to serve ourselves.
So on the Fifth of July, this is what I want us all to do: decide and act on what we want do with our freedom.
There are any number of great things to do. The question is: What will you use your freedom for today?