For many people, patriotism consists of putting out a flag on national holidays, standing for the national anthem at sporting events and going to the fireworks show on the Fourth of July. I would suggest that if we truly love America, our patriotism would be evident in more substantive ways.
A true patriot who believes in God will pray for America. The United States was founded as one nation under God. Our currency says, “In God we trust.” Therefore let’s pray for God’s guidance and blessing for America. We are to come humbly before God to confess our sins, repent and return to him (2 Chronicles 7:14). Could it be that some of the difficult challenges we’re experiencing in our country might be God’s way of leading us back to our faith in God and Christian values.
We will also pray for leaders at all levels of government (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Tim. 2:1-4). You may not like or agree with those in elective office who rule over us, but that doesn’t get you off the hook to pray sincerely for them to lead our country well. When our politics become too strident, we need to remember that Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). A patriot will pray for America.
A true patriot believes in righteousness and obeys the commands of Scripture. America would be a better place if we obeyed the 10 Commandments and Jesus’ lessons in the Sermon on the Mount. In Jesus’ sermon he teaches us to love others and live by the Golden Rule, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Wouldn’t America be a better place if we treated others the way we want to be treated?
A true patriot contributes to the greater good. They serve others. If you are a public servant, serve to the best of your ability as unto God. Choose to serve others as a volunteer in Christian ministries or in community organizations. Our goal as citizens is to make life better for all Americans, especially those who are the least fortunate.
On this Fourth of July anyone can put out an American Flag, watch the fireworks and sing “God Bless America.” True patriots will pray for America and its leaders, choose to live by the directives of Scripture, and serve the least among us. Have a great Fourth of July, and may God bless America.