True Freedom: Reflections On Independence Day


"Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants." -Benjamin Franklin

On the day when we celebrate our nation’s birth and the liberty we gained in winning independence, it’s an ideal time to reflect upon what freedom means.

To many, freedom means, “I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.”

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The freedom we celebrate in this nation is a gift, but it is not a freedom that was established by allowing everyone to do whatever they wanted. Rather, true freedom comes from choosing to follow the higher laws of our Creator and receiving the grace granted to us through Christ.

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan had a brilliant plan for maintaining control over Hell. He simply allowed everyone there to believe that they were independent operators and could do whatever they wanted. He convinced them all that they were each in charge. The result? Absolute chaos. Literally, it was pandemonium, which translates to “devils everywhere.” And it was the key to Satan maintaining his tyranny.

The same is true in our lives and in our country’s founding. If we were to live our lives doing whatever we pleased whenever we pleased, we wouldn’t have a free land but would be living in pandemonium. Had our Founding Fathers all set out on their own independent path, they never would have been able to form a unified front and win the war.

The freedom our Founding Fathers fought so hard to attain was not intended to create a pandemonium. Rather, they intended to create a land where people could freely exercise their right to follow their faith, look to a higher law, and by ordering life around that higher calling, find a true freedom unlike anything in this world.

So as you celebrate our country and its freedom this weekend, go ahead and choose to eat a little too much. Have fun and celebrate our nation. But remember that we have true freedom by committing our lives and our country to following a higher calling. As Benjamin Franklin asserted, we will all be governed by something. Let’s choose to be governed by the God who gives us a path to true and eternal freedom.