Today's reading: I Peter 2
As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. I Peter 2: 16 NRSV
We talk a lot about freedom in the United States. But sometimes I wish we would define freedom. Our forefathers desired religious, governmental and economic freedom. Today we see freedom as simply the right to do whatever we want. For many Americans freedom means no boundaries, no accountability and no care for others.
I Peter speaks of Christians as free people. That is, Christians are free from worshiping Caesar. Christians owe their allegiance to God. However, they are not to use this as an excuse to live as anarchists. Believing in God does not mean that one can do whatever the heck one feels like. Owing no allegiance to the ruling power does not make an excuse for not obeying laws or refusing to be a good citizen.
Perhaps we should listen to I Peter! We do not owe our allegiance to America. We owe our allegiance to God. However, that doesn't mean we should break laws or not pay our taxes. What it does mean is that we must first strive to be good Christians. Then we can be good citizens. There is no law against that!
God, you want us to live as those who are free from slavery to sin and death. Yet, we often live as though we are completely free of any rules or obligations. Help us to sort in our heads what is of you and what is an excuse just to do as we please. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims