If you had asked me in February what I was going to do for the 4th of July, I probably would’ve told you that my family was going to have a dinner party and watch the local fireworks. Similarly, if you had asked me in March, I likely would’ve said the same thing. Because I didn’t think the COVID-19 scare would last until the 4th of July.
Yet here we are.
We’re entering the month of July, and people are still talking about the coronavirus. We’re still reading the one-sided news and the biased viewpoints. We’re still swallowing the confusion, chaos, and despair.
Maybe it’s just me…but I feel anything but free on this Independence Day.
Are We Back Where We Started?
Independence Day—the day that our ancestors fought for when they escaped from domineering England. The day that our (more greats than I can count) grandparents fought for when they risked their lives to defeat the British soldiers. The day that our forefathers fought for when they penned the words to the Declaration of Independence.
Instead of feeling free, we now feel like prisoners.
Wearing our masks. Limiting our gatherings to 10 people. Staying six feet apart. Quarantining in our homes.
I haven’t felt free since mid-March of this year. But I didn’t lose my freedom when the coronavirus hit. Neither did you.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:13-17 NASB, emphasis mine)
It’s Not Just about Social Distancing
Rules about mask-wearing, limiting gathering sizes, staying six feet apart, and quarantining cannot take away our freedom. Our King paid for that freedom with His life. And He wants us to use that freedom to submit to His Father’s will.
Which includes submitting ourselves to our country’s leaders.
That’s hard for me to admit because I don’t always agree with the decisions of my local, state, and federal government. Unlike non-Christians, who have no underlying reason to comply with these decisions, Christians do have a reason. We submit to earthly rulers—as long as they aren’t disobeying God’s Law—in order to submit to our heavenly Ruler.
The One who was mocked, beaten, and killed for our freedom.
Our fallen leaders may not demonstrate that kind of sacrificial love for their people, but we must lay down our freedom as God’s bondslaves—and to honor the leaders that He has allowed to take office. Even if we must wear masks, keep gatherings small, stay apart, and quarantine. We don’t have to agree with every rule and law created by our broken leaders. We just have to obey those broken leaders during our short time on earth to honor our eternal King in heaven.