There is no question that such celebration is warranted but a question that should be asked in addition to what are we celebrating is: what are you doing with the freedom you celebrate? I believe that some of the things we do in the name of freedom were never on the radar of those who fought and died to give us that freedom or those who have fought and died since to make sure we keep it. When we first arrived in Chile in 1995, Chilean society was still shaking off the dust of a fifteen year dictatorship that had enforced strong censorship among other things. I remember passing a newspaper kiosk and along with newspapers, magazines, and comic books, I saw pornographic magazines displayed at the eye level of a child. I asked several Chileans about this and was told that the lack of censorship was part of the price of freedom and the owners of the stands were free to display what they wanted. Before we toss any rocks, our society can be accused of similar practices.
Can the same be said about our behavior as part of the body of Christ? Those of us who proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior celebrate the freedom we find in our relationship with Him. We also recognize every time we partake of communion that Jesus died on the cross to obtain that freedom for us. Is the way we live out the freedom we have in Christ in accordance with what the Scriptures tell us that freedom was designed for? I know that many times I have fallen short of the mark. What has helped me stay on track has been reading His Word, prayer, and the help of brothers and sisters in the Lord that loved me enough to let me know when I was behaving like a bonehead and not in accordance with what Christ had in mind for me. That is only one reason why we need each other so much.
As we continue in our July celebrations, let us endeavor to help each other remember the freedom we have been given in Christ and what that freedom was for. In addition, let us strive to display through our words and deeds that we are living out that freedom in accordance with God’s plans for His children.