A Declaration of Independence

4th of July

Today, we celebrate America’s independence. We take time and remember that on this day, July 4th, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, our founding fathers adopted the United States Declaration of Independence. With this beautifully-penned document, they declared themselves free from the control of Great Britain—what they saw as a tyrannical, oppressive outside force.

They wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I thank God for my country. I thank God for it’s unique forming as a nation. And I also rejoice in the fact that my nation celebrates an idea so close to God’s heart:


So while we enjoy the fireworks and hot dogs this year, let us also remember: liberty is God’s idea— it’s a commodity that flows from Heaven, and central to His wonderful message to all creation! Let’s remember that when God sent His Son to the earth, His mission was “to set the captives free”. (Luke 4:18) Isn’t that amazing? When God so loved the world (John 3:16), what did He do? He came to set it free. Love gives freedom.

What has God set you free from? What controlling and oppressive things has He defeated on your behalf? What tyranny has He broken off of your life?

What declaration of independence can you make today—because of God’s grace in your life?

For me, God has set me free in so many ways! (If you look at my writing and speaking, I’m basically rehashing over-and-over again all the different things God has set me free from.)

But I want to pick one for today. I want to declare my independence from: SHAME!


When Jesus found me, I was overrun by the tyranny of self-hatred. Shame utterly perverted my perception of reality. Uncomfortable in my own skin, I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. Deep self-loathing ruled my heart. I was self-conscience and so embarrassed of myself— and I didn’t even know why.

Obviously, this deep-seated shame kept me from doing anything great with my life. There’s no way I could step out. No way could I embrace risk. I couldn’t handle the criticism and failure that came with believing for big things. I just wanted to stay hidden. Play it safe… My soul was just too fragile. I couldn’t push off the negativity; it would just consume me—and reinforce all the negatives things I believed about myself.

Failure on the outside confirmed: “I was a failure”. Lack of support (or criticism) confirmed: “You see, there IS something wrong with you.”

I was bound. Bound from making a difference. Bound from making a change. I was not free… but Jesus came, and He gave me my independence!

I am free from my own opinion of myself.

Who am I to judge myself? If God is for me, who can be against me? 

I am free from my opinion. I am free from other people’s opinions. I am free from judgement. I am free from condemnation. I am free from pain. I am free from death. I am free from life. I am free from embarrassment. I am free from self-loathing. I am free from self-hatred. I am free.

His love has set me free.


What about you?



Father, I thank you that you are a God of liberty.

I thank you for setting me free!

Because of Your grace, I declare my independence  from ________________

Jesus has set me free. I am free INDEED!

I say, “I’m independent of sin and shame. And dependent upon You.”

I will rejoice. I will remember all You have done.

You are my Vindicator, my Judge, and my Deliverer!


3 thoughts on “A Declaration of Independence

  1. Praising God for this IS Truth !!!! Truth with a capital T….not trash…little t…….GOD did come to set the captives….us…FREE! Thank YOU Lord! and thank you AJ for reminding us….speaking Truth to us…cause so many times my mind says otherwise but I have to thru the enabling of the HS speak Truth to myself as my heart is sinfully wicked!
    your barista and sister,


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