The Trap of Independence

Uniquely American

As Americans, we value our personal liberty greatly. When the original settlers came into this frontier land, they did so to seek out better personal opportunities or to leave various forms of oppression. When the nation was founded, it was founded upon the ideals of individual liberty and independence from foreign rule, liberty which the Founders described as being “endowed by our Creator”.

The Source of Rights

It is important to remember that while our rights as human beings were secured by the founding of this nation, it was originally made clear from Whom those rights were granted, and the due worship He is worthy of receiving. In time, however, it has become more and more possible to believe that we are not only independent of oppressive rule, but that we are also independent of God. This can lead to a most dangerous trap.

Trusting in self

The entrepreneurial attitude associated with liberty can lead one to believe in the power of self to provide. While it is true that we are blessed to pursue countless opportunities in life, those opportunities and the talents we have to take advantage of them are given by God. Let no one claim to have “lifted themselves by their own bootstraps” for such an attitude ignores all God has done (cf. James 4:13-17).

Becoming an island

While a free society may encourage the development of the individual to positive results, no man is truly “an island to himself”. Christians are part of a community and a family which transcends the borders, ideals, problems, or other concerns of this world. In this family we are called to edify and build up one another, not merely ourselves (1 Thes. 5:11; Heb. 3:13). We are provided spiritual leaders to whom we should offer respect and heed their guidance. Let no one claim to be walking the path of light alone.

Remembering Who we serve

While we may choose not bow before any earthly king, nor be forced to serve the direct will of the state, Christians do serve a Lord and King. This can become a conflict for some, for those who have trouble following their fellow man will have trouble following after Almighty God and His Son. However, God and Jesus both have had the honor, glory, and power long before the creation of this world, not to mention to forming of our nation. Let no one claim to be “independent” of the rule of God.

Thanks Be to God!

We are blessed to live in a free nation, with representative government. It is important to remember, though, that our liberty as men does not “free” us from our obligation before God. Let us not confuse a heart which loves its independence for a stubborn one, hardened against its God.

comments powered by Disqus