Declaration of Independence – Week 1

July 1, 2021

On July 4, 2021, our nation will celebrate Independence Day or “July 4th.” According to history.com, the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted mostly by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities, ranging from fireworks, bell ringing, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

While the early colonies declared their independence in the 18th century, did you know in this 21st century many people are dealing with issues that they need to declare their independence from? The inspiration for this series was a gentleman who shared with me he was celebrating 6 years and 8 months of sobriety. He said after he gave his life to Jesus, with the help of the Holy Spirit, he was finally able to declare his independence from a drug and alcohol dependency. His testimony is since his declaration of dependence on God and declaration of independence from his addiction, his life has never been the same! Aware that I was a columnist in Milwaukee, he asked if I would consider this thought as a theme for an article series. I agreed. That conversation occurred at a July 4th barbecue while I was visiting my son and his family on the east coast. Earlier this year, I began asking for persons to respond to the question: ‘What Do You Want to Declare Independence From?’ Each respondent was asked to be transparent and as blunt as they desired. As an incentive, I assured them their identity would remain completely anonymous. Due to the popularity of this series last year, I’m running this theme again this year.

Even as I write this, I am reminded of the Declaration I shared last year:

I have declared my independence from fear of rejection, from allowing other’s criticism to upset me and my subtle desire to be accepted by everyone. I am reminded of the words of Aristotle: “the only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.” I realize, there is an ample supply of haters we all come in contact with who all come from a dark place of negativity, envy, fear and jealousy. Instead of allowing them to hurt me, I’ve become more confident and comfortable with the gifts, talents and skills God has blessed me with and I am using these gifts, talents and skills to be all that God has called me to be. The more confident I’ve become, the less influenced I am by other people’s negativity, rejection, envy and jealously. In fact, criticism and rejection has taught me to always do my best, always speak the truth, always give 100 percent and give the rest to God!

In 2021, my Declaration continues to inspire me and gives me strength!

Beloved, we all have something we need to free ourselves from. What is it you need to declare independence from? Low self-esteem, fear, excuses, insecurity, bad habits, over-spending, procrastination, unhealthy patterns in relationships? Whatever it is, let it go, don’t give it any more energy or attention that it doesn’t deserve. I invite you to join me this month as I dedicate this column to those persons who offered their responses to this month’s prompt and those of you who are also determined to declare your independence!

Source: History.com at: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

Next Week: Continuation

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