The best things in life are free. Good health. Happy relationships. Fulfilling work. Supportive family. Enjoyable activities. The things that really bring joy to life make a very long list. And there is no price tag that can be placed on them.

On this Independence Day I am keenly aware of the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. I realize that those who dared to sign the document declaring independence from Great Britain and its king placed their life in extreme danger.

General Colin Powell says that when the 56 members of the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence they actually brought a “28 count indictment against King George.” Their action constituted an act of treason against the Crown and if any of them were captured they would likely face death. Benjamin Franklin said to his colleagues, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

The declaration came 442 days after the first shots were fired in the American Revolution. The American War for Independence would last for five years. Many lives were lost and much sacrifice and suffering occurred.

No, freedom isn’t free. There is always a price to be paid.

Franklin reminded those gathered: “I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?” We are indebted not only to those who have come before us and sacrificed to preserve our freedoms but also to God for His guidance and provision.

I am proud to be an American and to live in this “land of the brave and the home of the free.” But there is another freedom for which I am more thankful.

Jesus has given us freedom from a life of destructive thinking and behavior. He has freed us from being bound by sinful habits and thoughts (Romans 6:20-22) and has invited us into a relationship with Him. Therefore we must be diligent to stand firm in the truth of the Scripture and actively resist the tendency to return to being slaves to our own harmful and destructive desires and actions (Gal. 5:1).

Just as we are endowed by our Creator with certain “inalienable rights,” so we are entitled to freedom from sin and its destructive effects. As precious as that freedom is, it too is costly. Jesus gave himself for us and rescued us from slavery to sin (Galatians 1:4). His sacrifice is a precious gift and it is through faith in Him that we live the rich and full life that was intended for every human being.

Jamie Jenkins