There is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with citizenship. I think that subconsciously, most of us are aware of this truth and consider it to be
Certainly, there is also an amount of freedom and liberty that comes with citizenship, at least here in the United States of America. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly more apparent that we are in need of a genuine revival. We need a revival, I think, of three things: respect for others, respect for authority, and respect for our country and its constitution.
First, we need of a revival in human respect. I imagine that there was a time when people of different lifestyles, philosophies, and religions could coexist in the US without vitriol and hate-filled speech, without violence and destruction; but that time is not the present. And I think that it is not happening in the present because we have allowed our own impressions and preferences to drive discussions about opinion as if they were law, and of self-experience as if it was absolute truth.
Regardless of whether or not someone else agrees with us, we should respect them as human beings, if not citizens under the law.
Second, we need a revival in our respect for authority. There is no doubt in my mind that there are egregious misuses of authority happening in our country. There is not doubt in my mind that there are abuses of power. But the corruption of a thing does not necessarily mean the thing itself is bad.
Authority is meant to guide us, support us, and, yes, even protect us. If some of the cities in our beloved country continue down the path that they are currently traveling, their existence is uncertain at best.
Third, we need a revival in our respect for our country and its constitution. Without belaboring the issue, anyone who has a modicum of knowledge about our country’s beginnings, knows that there are things in our past that were sinful and deplorable. Sadly, they cannot be undone. But regardless of
yesterday’s sin, we should not forsake today’s potential for righteousness. There are things that are available to us as citizens of this country that are not available to anyone else in the world. Sure, there are a number of other
countries that are beautiful and privileged, but this is our country, and citizenship comes with responsibility. It will only ever be as great as our respect for it.
To close, let me state it again simply: citizenship comes with responsibility. And that respon-sibility begins with you and me. How we treat others, how we
respect authority, and how we respect the country to which we belong. I am reminded of a verse from the apostles Peter’s first letter: “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Peter 4:16-17).