Recently we celebrated Independence Day. And what a wonderful reminder of this great nation that we call “home” – a nation that stands for liberty and justice for all. I wonder, however, if we have taken the independence theme beyond what our Founding Fathers intended. Let me explain. Surely we celebrate independence from a tyrant nation; but some have taken it as total independence, from everything and everyone. We celebrate individualism, individual rights, and individual pursuit. And yet the very foundation of our country declares “In God We Trust.”
This is not a declaration of independence, but of dependence on the One who gives us life and true freedom. It is a declaration of willing submission to the God whose blessing we have enjoyed for centuries. It is a declaration that recognizes that we are only truly successful when we willingly align ourselves with God’s will.
And there is another aspect of independence of which we must be mindful. God didn’t create us to live as isolated individuals. He created us in His image. Just as God has His being in relationship – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in interdependence and mutual submission, we are only fully persons when we live in relationship with one another. God’s glory is seen in our lives when we reflect His image – loving Him, and loving our neighbors. We need one another. It is no wonder that Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind;” and the second is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The fulfillment of the Law is found in these two (Matt. 22:37-40). So, let’s celebrate our nation’s independence with a firm declaration of our dependence on God and our interdependence with one another.
Dr. Chiqui Polo-Wood 2015 | All Rights Reserved