Those who fear the Lord are secure (Proverbs 14:26)
Relate: “Those who are willing to trade their freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both.” I’ve heard variations of this quote time and again and it is almost never quoted correctly. The context is usually quite wrong as well if someone even bothers to give it. Even wikipedia can’t get it right. It has nothing to do with the Revolutionary War. About the only thing they do get right is that it was Ben Franklin who wrote it. What he actually said was, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” It was written in a letter to the governor of Pennsylvania over 20 years before the Revolutionary War about taxation in order to provide frontier colonists with arms and munitions to help in their conflicts with the Indians.
With that in mind, assuming Ben Franklin is correct in making the statement two questions come to mind: 1) How essential is the liberty in question? 2) How permanent will the security be we hope to gain? Often when I hear this quote misused it is by one side or the other as a “poof be gone” to put an and to an argument. The implication is, “If you don’t agree with me, you must not love freedom. How unamerican are you?” In reality the quote should be an open door for intelligent debate.
React: For me as a Christian I should phrase the question in this way, “What freedoms and what security can I have in Christ?” America has been aflutter the past month or so with the buzzword being “marital rights”. Is marriage really a right? Isn’t it rather a laying down of one’s rights to enter into a relationship with another? If I am to take on the “right” of marriage don’t I give up the “rights” to come and go and to spend as I please? Shouldn’t another’s concerns come before my own? If not, am I truly in a marriage or do I just have a legal document with accompanying tax benefits?
Even more, to gain some freedoms in Christ do I have to give up others? To gain security in Christ, do I have to give up some things of the world that I feel make me secure? If I am holding on to those rights the world claims I have, do I have any real security in Christ? If I am clinging to those things of this world that I feel make me secure, do I have any true freedom in Christ? The only essential liberty I can ever have is the freedom that was purchased for me through His blood. The only permanent security that I can ever find is in knowing that I belong to Him.
Thank You, God, for the freedom You have won for me through Your sacrifice on the cross. Don’t let me ever take it for granted. Thank You, for the security I can find in in You. Don’t let me ever trade it away for a false liberty that is really nothing more than bondage to sin. Help me to live in the freedom I have in You. Help me to walk with the confidence that I am Yours. Help me to share Your freedom and security to a world trapped in bondage and fear.