What does FREEDOM mean to you?

Today, we celebrate freedom. Independence. Two hundred and forty-seven years of freedom.

What exactly is independence? Miriam-Webster defines independence as:

Not subject to the control of others

Not affiliated with a larger controlling entity

Not requiring or relying on something else or someone else

Not looking to others for one’s opinion or for guidance in conduct.

Another definition I found was “free to build . . . without interference.” Free to build a life, a family, a church, a business, a country without interference from other entities.

Our forefathers wanted freedom and independence too.

But then they had to figure out a lot of things. Like how to survive, how to work together, how to govern, how to create a system that could connect the dreams of individuals with eternal principles that would preserve the things they wanted most: equality, justice, freedom to think, speak and worship as their own conscience dictated, and a freedom to pursue the higher goals of mankind.

Independence cannot be confused with autonomy. Autonomy refers to a form of independence that is granted to us by an overseeing authority that itself still retains the ultimate authority. It is an incomplete independence.

With true independence comes the need for self-determination and self-government. One must truly know what they want and then be able to govern themselves in a way that will achieve what they want.

Kris Plachy, who leads Visionary.CEO, says:

Independence isn’t something we get and then have. Independence is an ongoing action, replete with daily disciplines, commitments and honest communication and collaboration.

Independence and freedom require systems that provide repeatable structures for success. And they require people who believe in and are willing to follow the systems to uphold the structure that secures its longevity.

Independent countries begin with independent individuals, who have the ability to live into these daily disciplines and commitments to build up the systems that secure this longevity of personal and corporate freedom.

Independent individuals teach their children and model for their churches and communities the true cost of preserving independence in the way they live every day.

So how independent are you?

Are you free to manage your thoughts and feelings in a way that moves you closer to your goals each day?

Are you free to say no to the many addictive lures in our society that would suck away our time, energy, and self-respect?

Are you free to stand up for your moral values when they are not valued by the vast majority?

Are you free from the doubt, self-criticism, and fear of failure that keeps you from fighting for something truly important to you?

Are you free from the negative opinions of others, and free to let other people be wrong about you?

Are you free to dream and to work, to try, to fail, to succeed, and to share the glory with others?

So are you independent and free in mind, body and your spirit? If not, today is the perfect day to begin the work.

May this Independence Day be a day to recommit to a greater level of true freedom in our personal lives so that we may contribute to a lasting freedom in our great nation.  May we also be truly free in the deepest meaning of freedom.

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:32,36

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Sherri Bartin Avatar

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