God and the American Dream: Independence

God and the American Dream: Independence

I love the Fourth of July. Fireworks. Cookouts. Homemade ice cream. A celebration of independence.

We’re big on independence at our home:

  • Set your own alarm.
  • Keep up with your stuff.
  • Do your share around the house.

And it’s biblical.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so you will not be dependent on anyone.”

Biblical—to a point.

To a point because too much independence sets us up for spiritual failure. Independence places the focus on us and what we can do, instead of on God and what He has done. 1 Corinthians 4:7 b,c (NIV) reminds us, “What do you have that you did not receive?”

  • Salvation: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
  • Holy Spirit: “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”(Acts 2:38 NIV)
  • Forgiveness: “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:18 NIV)

As we receive gift after gift from God, what does He ask of us?

You guessed it.

He asks for the most precious thing we can give—our independence.

Our right to ourselves. The right to do what we want, when we want, and how we want.

Why? Because self leads us astray.

Our Heavenly Father really does know best and when we place ourselves under His loving rule, we find Him an easy Master. A loving and benevolent King worthy of our pledge of allegiance.

Have you signed your declaration of dependence? Relinquish your rights and allow God’s Spirit to lead you.

Questions:

How is independence good?

How can it be negative?

Does independence have a place in God’s kingdom? Explain.

Does your independence hinder your spiritual walk?

Tweetables:

We’re big on independence in our home. And it’s biblical, to a point. Because too much independence sets us up for spiritual failure. Click to tweet.

Independence places the focus on us and what we can do, instead of on God and what He has done. Click to tweet.

He asks for the most precious thing we can give—our independence. Our right to ourselves. The right to do what we want, when we want, and how we want. Click to tweet.

Have you signed your declaration of dependence? Relinquish your rights and allow God’s Spirit to lead you. Click to tweet.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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