Today is Independence Day. As an American citizen, born and raised, I
have grown up celebrating this national holiday of ours for many years. I am
thankful for not only the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day, but also
the freedoms declared and granted to us through the Bill of Rights, the latter
Amendments and the constitution. It is no wonder that many who come to
America and only plan to stay temporarily, end up staying indefinitely and
often for the rest of their lives. Then, when asked why they chose to stay, the
answers are typically because of prosperity, opportunity, and the freedoms
that they did not get to experience back in their country of origin. That said,
the ability to be free and to do whatever one chooses is not applicable only to
America. One is capable of freely engaging in many activities in many different
In fact, as believers, we also know that God has given us the free will
to do and think as we please. But as believers, we also know that not all actions
are beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 26 (ESV), says, “‘All things are lawful,’
but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.
24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor… 26 For ‘the earth
is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.’” Not only can our actions affect others
negatively (or positively), they could be sinful! And if they are, we must be
ready to flee from these actions and strive for godliness. After all, we have the
freedom to choose sin and we have the freedom to strive for godliness and
holiness. Let us seek the latter instead!
1 Timothy 4:7-8 says, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.
Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value,
godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and
also for the life to come.” Thus, physical health is important, but more
important still, is our spiritual life and walk with the Lord, which has eternal
benefit. Let us therefore see that seeking God and attaining godliness is a
wonderfully good endeavor to have! I pray that you freely choose and continue
to choose to strive after holiness and godliness and not begrudgingly. After all,
God’s laws are “holy and righteous and good” (Romans 7:12). They are good!
Therefore, do not think that God’s laws a restricting or constraining your own
freedom, when they are really restricting the fleshly desires. Or to think of it
another way, the fleshly desires that lead to sin are really what restricts us
from the fuller experience of God’s goodness, faithfulness and love. I therefore
ask, as Hebrews 12:1 expounds on, for our Lord Jesus to help free us from the
sins that so easily entangle us so that we can freely “run with endurance the
race set before us.” Grant us this freedom, O God!