Freedom as Americans, Christians ... and Singles
- 2006 3 Jul
Red, white, and blue have always been the rallying colors for America. We see it in war, we see it in competition, and we see it in patriotism. This month we’ll be seeing those colors proudly displayed all over the country as we commemorate our independence and our freedom.
We, as Christians, have been given our “liberty” thousands of years ago by the blood of Jesus. Even so, many of us live each day still fighting for our sovereignty. We live our lives in bondage to sin, to guilt, to envy, to career, to the past and, even worse, to indifference. Jesus died to give us eternal life and freedom from all of these things, yet we struggle to live life to the fullest. He left us His Word not to restrict us, but to give us hope. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us, not to control us.
There are so many things in the world today that take us away from our heritage as a nation and how we live our lives as Christians. It can be a constant battle to even focus on a purpose and on a direction for our lives. We look at others thinking that they have it all under control. Sometimes I think that everything would be so much simpler being married and having a family – that is until I spend time with some of my married friends.
The Encarta Dictionary defines “freedom” as the following:
1. ability to act freely; a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any, or to any undue, restraints and restrictions
That is the perfect definition for us as singles! Every time that I read it, a smile comes to my face, and a smile should come to your face, too. We all have our days of “alone-ness”. We all think that things are better on the other side of the fence. But the next time you get asked why you aren’t married (for the fifteenth time in one day), you should answer, “Because I’m in a place where I can act and live as I choose, without being subject to any undue, restraints and restrictions.” No doubt that person will walk away feeling worse off than you!
People have fought for this right, and we have been given this privilege without sacrifice. As singles, we should be embracing it wholeheartedly rather than worrying about what we don’t have. If we dwell on those “missing elements”, like a relationship, a family, and stability, we won’t ever fully appreciate the gift we have been given. There’s nothing more frustrating than to meet singles whose sole goal in life is marriage. As Christian singles, we have a higher calling than that. God made us for a bigger purpose.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:32, “In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.”
Paul knew what it was like to be single, and he knew the constraints and responsibilities of being married. He understood what his purpose was and what his role in life was. He wants us to do the same, single or married.
We are all so blessed, as a nation, as a people, and as Christians. So many times we don’t realize what we have until it’s gone. We’ve all experienced it, whether it’s with family, friends, places, or things. One of the best gifts we have in life is our freedom. Freedom to live, freedom to worship, freedom to travel, freedom to serve, freedom to come and go. We need to celebrate our freedom rather than look for ways to give it up.
Red, White and Blue
Although the red, white and blue, which are emblazoned on the American flag, did not have meanings for the Stars and Stripes when it was adopted in 1777, those colors have come to represent certain characteristics in other notable places in the history of the United States.
Red – hardiness and valor
White – purity and innocence
Blue – vigilance, perseverance and justice
Stars – symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial
Our nation’s Christian heritage can be seen through those definitions, and the Star and Stripes can almost be labeled a “Christian Flag” with what it represents. They can also be a reminder to us each and every day.
Red - the blood of Jesus
White - the purity of Jesus
Blue - the perseverance to live in Christ
Stars – symbol of heaven and the great things to come
When you see a flag this month, think about those colors and what they represent as a nation. Remind yourselves of the rallying colors and what they mean to you as a Christian.
Thousands of brave young men and women have given their lives over the years to protect our freedom. Jesus gave his life to us so that we can have freedom eternally.
*Historical information compiled from www.usflag.org.
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to "Sandlot Stories" (ARose Books). An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Comments and questions can be sent to: CYdmg@yahoo.com.