Have recent events changed your attitudes toward and behavior about being an American?
The United States of America was born on July 4, 1776. Some say that the country was re-born when Lewis and Clark attempted to find a passageway to the Pacific Ocean. Or when the Civil War led to the dissolution of slavery. Or when women were allowed to vote. Or when we contributed to the winning of World War I and II. Or when we put a man on the moon. Or when we were attacked on September 11, 2001.
Do you own a U.S. Flag and put it out on national holidays? Do you know all of the words to “God Bless America?” What are some things about your country that you are thankful for?
We all experience times and seasons when our love of country is tested. I remember where I was on 9/11 and the tension, fear, anger, loss and pain many Americans felt was we dealt with the horrific images and consequences of 9/11. Many wondered if America would rebound from such a tragedy. Some asked if children would be able to grow to adults with honor and pride in their country?
Yet young people by the thousands volunteered for charitable activities and military service. Some just had the “thing” that you are supposed to have inside you. Others stumbled into it in the process of wanting to “do something, anything…” that would address the ache they carried.
The dictionary definition of “patriotism” is “love for or devotion to one’s country.” Of course, if you are a lover of God, you are on the right track and actually ahead of the pack.
One thing that is great about America is the freedom to openly worship God, or not. While not widely reported in the modern media, Christians in many countries around the world are routinely arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and killed merely for being followers of Jesus. It is hard to imagine worse responses towards Christians when they are actively talking about Jesus and trying to persuade others to consider the person and claims of Jesus.
The founders of America linked their patriotism to their belief in the Creator. They declared “all men were created equal” and that the Creator had endowed all men and women with “certain, unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Each time we pledge allegiance to the flag, we affirm and recognize that the United States is “one nation, under God.”
Read Psalm 33.
In verse 12, the author writes, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” How can you emulate the lifestyle outlined in Psalm 33, where followers of the King are described?
What does patriotism look like in your life? I hope you will learn more about how America was founded and formed. Why did God place you here at this time? How can you and your generation make this a place where God is honored? It is okay to love God and country.
Live communally. How can we pray for America? How can we model gratefulness? What can we do to make God more famous here? God blesses America as we bless and honor Him.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz