Yesterday I was running through a neighborhood when I passed a family of a different ethnic background than me. I was in a great mood and thinking about Independence Day celebrations. Suddenly, I had the urge to exclaim to the family, “May you experience racial freedom in addition to political freedom!” It was going to be an epic moment. I envisioned the family smiling really big all day and growing hopeful about their future as they celebrated July 4th.
I chickened out. I didn’t do it, for a couple of reasons. First, that statement was really cumbersome to say. Second, I’m giving myself a lot of grace here. I don’t think it would have come out better than a few huffs and puffs of incomprehensible gibberish as I’m
running jogging past them.
“May…*huff*…you…*puff*…experi rasheedom…in addishhhhhhh *collapses onto the ground*
I don’t know if racial freedom is even really a term.
When the framers of the Constitution and signers of the Declaration of Independence all got together to dream about the future of our nation, do you wonder if they pictured that we would be in a better spot than where we are, 200 years later?
Racial tensions are just as high as they ever have been. Ethnic groups feel misunderstood by every other group. No one listens to each other. Pick a hot button issue; it doesn’t matter which one. We have freedom of speech to voice our opinion and all we do is tear each other down.
This week, we are all about celebrating freedom. Freedom from King George, freedom to own firearms. Freedom to speech, freedom to assembly, freedom to like Nickelback, and freedom to your own opinion. But no one is celebrating the freedom we have to love one another as Christ loves us.
Do you want real freedom? We have real freedom in Christ. The kind of freedom we receive from God is better than any kind of political freedom this great nation gives us. I love the United States, but what we have in Christ Jesus blows away everything else.
Jesus of Nazareth gives us so many more freedoms, the kind that even slaves can possess. Freedom from sin ruling over us and from death being the final say. Freedom to reconcile with people from other nationalities, ethnicities, and political beliefs. Freedom to let love rule our hearts, instead of hatred.
1“It is for freedom that Christ set us free. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” [Galatians 5:1, 14-15]
Christ followers living in the U.S. are too hung up on the wrong kinds of freedoms. If you’re constantly plugging your freedom to bear arms, when do you have time to lay down your life and love your enemy? If you are always touting your freedom to choose, are you also advocating for the orphan living on this side of the uterus?
We find real freedom when we actively love those who are difficult to love. When we do this, we free ourselves from fear, distrust, and hatred.
No one feels good after a hangover. It’s time we wake up, reap what we have sown, and work to reconcile with our brother and sister. It’s time to exercise our freedom to love.