As citizens of the United States, we carry an incredible burden as well as a wonderful gift.
We shout to all who will listen that we are the home of the free and the brave. Freedom reigns and beauty abounds. Come to America and all your dreams will come true.
Each phrase shouts of glorious beginnings and beautiful endings. Living in the United States of America is where it’s at.
But the gift of freedom is not one to take lightly. When I look around me, I see abundance and a relatively easy life. But looking on the surface doesn’t reveal the hidden angst that remains in the dark spaces of our lives. Do we really look closely at the world around us or do we just see what we want to see?
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela
As we celebrate the freedom of our country today and look at what the gift of freedom means in our lives, take a look at how Nelson Mandela describes freedom. Mandela’s words challenged me to take a look into my heart to question if I am building others up or tearing them down with my words and actions. The words convicted me to look deeper at what I miss on the surface of my life and truly look into the eyes of the people who not only make up my life, but fill our country.
Today I look at the diversity of people groups and strive to see beyond the outside into the beauty that makes them who they are.
I hold open the gift of freedom to others because God graciously gave it to me first.
I strive to live a life of love that shows in my words and actions because acceptance and love grows the gift of freedom.
When claiming the gift of freedom, I am learning to share it willingly as Christ graciously sacrificed his own freedom for me.
[Tweet “This Fourth of July, let’s look beyond the surface into the beauty of each person in our country.”]
Today I am praying for the gift of freedom that we claim as citizens of the United States. May we treat each other with the respect they deserve and grow the freedom we profess as our own. Let our lives reflect a willingness to truly know our neighbors and love them just because. May God bless our nation. May we never take for granted that each person deserves respect and brings a uniqueness that makes our country great.
Happy Fourth of July!
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wow … what a powerful quote, a stunning picture.
it’s not all about me and my blessings, but you and yours, too.
thanks for the nudge in the right direction, friend.
The quote stopped me in my tracks. Mandela has that way about him. I pray we all discover what it means to truly embrace freedom. A gift to receive as well as to give. I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and that your summer is filled with joy and family.
I read these words on the fly today, and am finally getting home and quiet — and it occurs to me that all this lovely “running around” that we do is only really possible because of the freedom of which you ‘ve written so beautifully. I just finished reading and reviewing a book written about modern day China, and there are so many obstacles there for family’s to overcome just to function in ways that I take for granted. That author got me ready to read your words, because both make me want to do a better job of looking into the faces of those who surround me and seeing them as individuals — and hearts that need the love of Jesus.
I love the Nelson Mandela quote. It’s so true that freedom shouldn’t just be about us and doing what we want, but that we should be looking out for others, showing them respect and helping them find freedom too. Happy 4th July!
These words convicted me too: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela”
Nelson Mandela’s quote caught my eye and really convicts me too. It speaks so clearly to how we need to respect others by sharing the freedom that we have been given. Hope you had a great fourth.
Excellent words, friend. There is so much more to freedom than personal liberties. Have a blessed fourth!
Thank you June! Freedom is something we take for granted too often. Praying that this message is one I remember and live out.
“Let our lives reflect a willingness to truly know our neighbors and love them just because.” Amen to that! That’s a message for us for our neighbour next door, as well as across the seas.
It is a message for all neighbors. I pray we can remember how to love and live a life that reflects this daily. Blessings friend!
Joining with you in celebrating our freedom. May my words be used to build others up and not to tear them down and my I be a bridge builder to people who are different (on the surface) from me.
4th Blessings to you,
Amen. May we all be bridge builders as we walk throughout each day. Blessings!