I recently came across the following story told by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his 2010
memoir, A Journey: My Political Life:
“A friend of mine whose parents were immigrants, Jews from Europe who came to America in search of safety, told me this story. His parents lived and worked in New York. They were not well off. His father died when he was young. His mother lived on, and in time my friend succeeded and became wealthy. He often used to offer his mother the chance to travel outside America. She never did. When eventually she died, they went back to recover the safety box where she kept her jewelry. They found there another box. There was no key. So, they had to drill it open. They wondered what precious jewel must be in it. They lifted the lid. There was wrapping and more wrapping and finally an envelope. Intrigued, they opened it. In the envelope were her U.S. citizenship papers. Nothing more. That was the jewel, more precious to her than any other possession. That was what she treasured most.”
As American Christians we should similarly value our US citizenship! We live in the greatest nation on the planet and the greatest civilization known to mankind. There is much that makes America great. Just consider the following six things:
- Concerning nutrition, medical care, sanitation, and shelter, the US kills it in comparison to all other nations when it comes to meeting basic human needs.
- We in America have the greatest educational system in the world.
- The US is essentially the safest place on the planet to live.
- When it comes to discrimination, powerlessness, or ethnic/communal/religious/sectarian violence, America is one of the least racist of all countries.
- As citizens of the USA, we live longer and happier lives than virtually anyone else.
- Given our freedom of speech, no country is freer to challenge tyranny than ours.
So be proud to be an American citizen…there is no place better on Earth! But as Christians, we also have another citizenship…in Heaven. Phil. 3:20-21 says: “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Our heavenly citizenship, which we enjoy in part now and fully in the future, should presently impact our US citizenship as patriotic Americans and our daily lifestyles as Christ-followers. How so? Let me suggest four ways:
- Pray daily – communication with our Heavenly Father must be an everyday occurrence, remembering to pray for our governing leaders locally and nationally (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
- Obey consistently– obedience to the Word of God is a requirement to live godly Christian lives and to be productive US citizens, who obey the laws and leaders of the land in keeping with Scripture (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
- Love lavishly– as citizens of Heaven we are to love God with our whole being and our neighbors/ fellow countryman as an outgrowth of our outrageous love for God (Matt. 22:37-39; Rom. 13:8).
- Live contagiously – our godly, otherworldly, infectious, Kingdom lifestyle should be a breath of fresh air and a beacon of light in this stuffy, dark world (1 Pet. 2:11-12; 15-17).
Aren’t you proud to be an American? Aren’t you proud to be a Christian? These citizenships are among our
most valued possessions! With such, we have it better than anyone in this world…and the world to come.