Independence Is a Good Thing…If it Isn’t the Only Thing

Finding Our Balance as We Walk This Tightrope Called Business

As we celebrate our country’s independence on this coming Monday, we need to stop and give thought to what this day means.

John Adams wrote this to his wife,

“This will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

We need to remember that this is so much more than just fireworks, parades and barbecues.

One thing to remember is, this independence wasn’t achieved by one person. There were multiple people involved in getting this accomplished. This fine line of separation and collaboration is a tough thing to stay balanced on.

This independent perspective is important, but not the only one.

We are all part of something bigger than just ourselves.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, we are told that our bodies are made up of many parts. “A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body. That’s why the eyes cannot say they don’t need the hands. That’s also why the head cannot say it doesn’t need the feet. God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.” 

The same thing is true in business.

As we approach different situations, we usually consider them from our own perspective. This is only natural because we’re all made in our own specific, separate way.

It’s important to know who we are, where our strengths lie, what we’re good at doing. This is how we’re made and what we’re made to do.

I know that I have a pretty strong opinion about how I want things done in my business. More times than not, this leads to my “get out of my way and I’ll do it myself” attitude.

Trust me…this isn’t the way God designed things to work.

This is not a very good business plan. I need to work on balancing my skills with the skills of others to build a stronger and more productive business.

Balancing independence and delegation is a fine line, but if I don’t, I’m likely to lose my balance and fall off the tightrope.

Remember the reason we’re celebrating and the cost to our independence as you watch the fireworks.

Freedom and Christianity Both Come at a High Price

How Much of That Price are You Willing to Pay?

As you know this past Sunday was Independence Day. It was a great celebration of our Christian and American heritage. I think too often we overlook the connection of the two.

We have always had two flags in the front of our church, the United Methodist flag and the American flag. Like many things in life, we get into, rut like routines, and neglect to open our eyes and see things around us.

This 4th of July, we did something different…we said the Pledge of Allegiance as part of our morning service. This was a great addition. Thanks to the young man who saw the American flag and asked why we don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance.

We need to remember the sacrifices that have been paid for both our Spiritual and American freedoms.

The highest possible price has been paid for both of these freedoms.

Pastor Lee referred to the Battle Hymn of the Republic and previous disagreements within the church about the wording in the last verse. Some thought it should be changed to “let us live to make men free, rather than die.

I think it’s be both, but ultimately it comes down to how much we value something. The price we’re willing to pay is how important it is to us.

Christ and many others have been willing to die for worthwhile causes. Whether that’s our Christianity or humanity. We should be willing to die and/or live for these worthwhile causes.

This song pretty much says it all.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword

His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps

His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish’d rows of steel,

As ye deal with my condemners, So with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel

Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded form the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,

While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

There is a direct connection of our American and Christian heritage. We need to remember this and live both every day.

Being Held Down and Held Back Leads to a Desire for Independence

But Freedom Doesn’t Mean That You Can Do Whatever You Want

As we celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States, we need to remember that it’s more than just another excuse to party. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But remembering why we’re partying is imperative to the continuation of this freedom.

The freedom that we enjoy in America comes at a price.

This bill is paid through blood sweat and tears. It’s the sacrificing of our selfish desires without losing our common sense and direction.

When the founders of our great nation determined that they could no longer be held down and held back the world was changed forever. Up until then every government had been some form of tyrannical monarchy.

It seems that we are edging away from our founding principles back toward the mistakes of the past.

It seems that everywhere we look we are bombarded by attempts to divide us. Things that the founders would have seen as efforts to distract us from being united in the important things that we should be focusing on.

We all have an innate desire to be independent….to be our own person. This doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want without consequences.

There is a fine line between independence and mob rule.

As I was thinking about where we’ve come from and where we’re headed, I was reminded of the book, The 5000 Year Leap: Twenty-Eight Great Ideas That Are Changing the World by W. Cleon Skousen.

This book asserts that the United States prospered because it was established upon natural law principles that came from common law and traditional Judeo-Christian morality. These principles found in the Bible guided the Founding Fathers as they incorporated these enlightened ideas into the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

“Part of the genius of the Founding Fathers was their political spectrum or political frame of reference. It was a yardstick for measuring the political power in any particular system of government. They had a much better political yardstick than the one which is generally used today. If the Founders had used the modern yardstick of “Communism on the left” and “Fascism on the right,” they never would have found the balanced center which they were seeking.”

Excerpt from 5000 Year Leap

There have been disagreements between people from the beginning. (Cain and Abel, Genesis 4:8) The thing we need to work on is the strength to stand up for what we believe while respecting other’s opinions. We need to be looking for that balance the Founding Fathers were seeking.

Celebrating Independence Day started with the very first one.

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

– John Adams July 3, 1776

We’ve been given the Torch of Freedom it’s up to us to keep it lit and pass it on to future generations.

What changed 244 years that made such a huge difference from previous 5000? The 5000 Year Leap shows us the 28 Principles of Freedom our Founding Fathers said must be understood and maintained by people who desire peace, prosperity and freedom.

“The goal of life is not space travel, backyard swimming pools, glider planes, entertainment extravaganzas, big fast cars or thrill pills. What human beings are really seeking is individual happiness, self-realization.”

Excerpt from 5000 Year Leap

It’s time to get back to these basics.