Friday, July 4, 2008

National Independence, Personal Dependence

Happy Independence Day to all my fellow citizens!!

This breaking away from Great Britain has worked out really well for us. Think of all the perks... We don't have to drive on the left side of the road... We discovered dental hygiene... And we're not stuck with the embarrassment of that royal family. Those things alone make July 4 a day to celebrate!
One problem though: In America, we've taken the idea of independence a little too far. It has become one of our most treasured personality traits. I agree that national independence is a good thing, but I disagree that personal independence is always a good thing.
The reality is that we need other people. Humans are not independent creatures. Think on 1 Corinthians 11:11-12 this July 4: "Woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God." Paul is arguing that husbands are dependent on their wives and wives are dependent on their husbands. Radical thoughts in our society of independence! You won't find the modern American proverbs "be your own man" and "never depend on a man" in God's Word. Instead, God created us and commands us to be dependent!
Notice the end of 1 Co. 11:12 -"And all things are from God." Men and women are dependent upon each other; churches and pastors are dependent upon each other; employers and employees are dependent upon each other. And all of us are dependent upon God! See that? God created us to depend on Him. The trouble came in Genesis 3, where we bought the lie of personal independence. Satan told Adam & Eve, "If you'll eat this fruit, you'll be like God... you'll no longer have to depend on Him for everything!" And so foolishly believing that they would gain personal independence, they ate.
The lesson? There is no such thing as personal independence! Adam & Eve were created to depend on God, yet they opted to depend on Satan. You & I are born naturally dependent on Satan (original sin), but we can opt to start depending on God... totally relying upon Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and give us eternal life.
So on the day when we rightly celebrate our nation's independence, can you celebrate your personal dependence on Christ, the Son of God?

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