In today’s modern world, the concept of being both a Christ-follower and a flag-waving patriot can sometimes feel at odds with each other. Is it possible to fully embrace both identities without compromising one’s faith or values. That depends.

So long as we don’t see our nation, our government or any politician as the determiner of our future, then we as Christians can celebrate the blessings of our nation. We can acknowledge the role God played in the lives of the men and women who wrote our Constitution and fought for our freedom. We can celebrate those who have come before us who helped instill biblical values in the families, communities, businesses,  institutions, and service organizations that define our nation.

Many of the core teachings of Jesus complement the values we associate with patriotism. At the heart of Christianity is the teaching of love, compassion, and service to others. Jesus himself exemplified these qualities through his actions and teachings, showing us that true greatness comes not from power or wealth, but from humility and selflessness. As followers of Christ, Christians are called to emulate his example by loving their neighbors as themselves, caring for the poor and marginalized, and seeking justice and peace in a broken world.

On the other hand, patriotism is often associated with a deep love and loyalty to one’s country. It is rooted in a sense of pride in one’s national identity, history, and values. Patriotism motivates people to defend their country against external threats, uphold its laws and traditions, and work towards its prosperity and well-being. It is a sense of belonging and shared responsibility that can unite people from different backgrounds and beliefs.

However, Christians must never forget that Jesus did not come to create a political kingdom but rather to go to the cross and die for the sins of all of us that we would have a way to appear sinless before God. He died that we might be saved from this fallen world and all of its sickness, heartache, shame and death. That act was a gift to us—if we accept it.

Once we accept Jesus as our savior and lord, the Holy Spirit will move us to embrace Jesus’s teachings including loving and serving others. Patriotism, then, can provide an avenue for caring for our neighbors and working towards the common good of society.

As Christians, we believe that all good gifts come from God, and we are called to be good stewards of these gifts, including the gift of living in a free and prosperous nation. Our love for our country can be a way of showing thankfulness to God for these blessings, and a commitment to uphold the values of justice, equality, and freedom that are enshrined in its founding principles.

When we live out the values of Christianity – love, compassion, and service – in the context of our patriotic duty, we can be a powerful force for good in the world. More importantly, Christians can use acts of service as a pathway to sharing the Good News of what Jesus did for all of them.

So this 4th of July, wave your flag and sing patriotic songs. Just remember that the source of our freedom is a blessing from God. If you’d like to know more about the life-changing Jesus who provides greater freedom and greater joy than you’ll ever find celebrating your country or political leaders, then read our post: How can I become a Christian?