I’ll be honest. I’m not going to answer that question. I’ll leave that to Preston. But here is what I will say: We don’t always think things through the way we ought. On the one hand, we can start “celebrating” holidays merely because they give us a day off and never consider the implications of the holiday. On the other hand, we can celebrate a holiday like July 4 a bit too fervently, in a way that actually dishonors God.
Here are three brief thoughts that may help you think through your Fourth of July celebration:
1. Enjoy the rest that holidays offer. As I have said before, God designed human beings to need rest. God himself rested, and in doing so, he became our model for resting. It glorifies God when we rest. Inherent in our resting is an admission that we can’t do everything ourselves, and that the world continues to turn without us. God wants us to labor diligently, but we are not the Savior, and God does not intend for us to do it all. Taking a day of thankful rest is appropriate and important. Just don’t be like the sluggard:
As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. (Proverbs 26:14-15)
2. Enjoy the unique freedoms you have been given. Christians have always been persecuted, and our modern age is no exception. As our brothers and sisters around the world suffer for their faith, we need to be thankful for the freedom that we have been given. Such freedom also carries a temptation toward apathy, so push yourself to be thankful for your freedom and to use that freedom for God’s glory, rather than your own comfort.
3. Take some time to pray for the people in America, and for the people around the world. Our Fourth of July celebrations will dishonor God if we simply declare our superiority and our desire to be blessed for our own sake. God loves Americans, and He loves the people in every nation of the world. Remember that we don’t deserve God’s blessing. Any blessings that God gives are meant to be used to bless the world around us. This is the example of Abraham, who was blessed by God so that he could be a blessing to the world. So pray for the people in America. But also pray for the people around the world. Don’t let your Fourth of July celebration be a declaration of supremacy. Use it as an opportunity to be thankful for what God has given you and to recommit to blessing the world around you.