...Used to be when I thanked others for fighting for my freedom and for wishing I had been smart enough to join the military when I was younger. Well, water under the bridge...
As I watched two young people exchange wedding vows on the 4th of July, I had a moment to think on what future 4th of July celebrations would mean to me. While that young couple would learn about interdependence, I would be learning about fighting for freedom and independence wherever my Army career takes me.
I will sacrifice my own time with family, my own personal freedoms, to go fight for the freedom for both people who care and who could care less. While I know there are plenty more that do appreciate it, I can't help thinking that this willingness to go as far as dying for people, even those less appreciative, is the closest I could ever come to imitating my Savior. He was willing to die for people who would never know him, who would never appreciate his sacrifice. It is the only opportunity I can see for me to walk as closely in His steps as I am able.
Army Values are very similar to what God requires of me as a Christian.
Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the US Constitution, the Army, and other soldiers. Be loyal to the nation and its heritage.
Biblical Loyalty - Since God is faithful (loyal), it has become our responsibility to imitate Him in being faithful(loyal) by committing our lives to well doing.
Duty - Fulfill your obligations. Accept responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care. Find opportunities to improve oneself for the good of the group.
Biblical Duty - Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."
Respect - Rely upon the Golden Rule. How we consider others reflects upon each of us, both personally and as an organization.
Biblical Respect - Matthew 5:43-48 "...I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? ...And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others?..."
Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service leads to organizational teamwork and encompasses discipline, self-control and faith in the system.
Biblical Selfless Service - The quality of 'stewardship' indicates the virtue of 'unconditional giving and selfless service'. It defines the standards within which every Christian is expected to live by. Luke 10:27 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Honor - Live up to all the Army values.
Biblical Honor - The giving of honor is practiced in our relationships. It is demonstrated through submission and obedience to those who are called to places of authority and responsibility. Honor for God is the basis of all honor. Obedience to God is coupled to the honor we give to God.
Integrity - Do what is right, morally and legally. Be willing to do what is right even when no one is looking. It is our "moral compass" our inner voice.
Biblical integrity - Is not just doing the right thing; it’s a matter of having the right heart and allowing the person you are on the inside to match the person you are on the outside. This is how God is. This is how his people should be. Perhaps a good word to think of is “consistency.” There must be consistency between what is inside and what is outside.
Personal Courage - Our ability to face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral courage.
Biblical Courage - Is the result of surrender and sovereignty. Our surrender to God's sovereignty, and our trust in God's strength, not our own. Joshua 1:9 "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Having done this exercise now, I am humbled and encouraged to work harder on these values.
God's Blessings to you all - everyone!