I have had a few good friends ask me more information about my applying for Italian citizenship.
The question might be something like this:
“Are you giving up your American citizenship in order to become Italian citizen?”
Maybe you are wondering the same thing!
The simple answer is: No! I am and hopefully will always be an American citizen.
The slightly more detailed answer that I gave my friends so far as been:
I would NEVER drop my American citizenship!
Fortunately I can be a dual citizen!
After all…my ancestors were charter members of the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut!
When I was a kid, I was once asked: “Where do you like living more; in America or in Italy?” I remember my answer pretty clearly.
I asked them: “Who do you love more; your Mother or your Father?”
Just because I love Italy and the Italian people does not mean that I love America less. I believe this sentiment is typical of most missionaries.
David Livingstone, one of the greatest missionaries to Africa of the nineteenth century died in Africa. His body is buried in Westminster Abbey, in London, but his heart is buried in Africa.
This may not be a typical burial, but trust me, it is a typical sentiment among missionaries.
Paul himself did not give up his Jewishness because he was a Roman citizen. And he did not feel like he had to minimize being a Roman citizen in order to be a good Jew.
The apostle Paul said it best:
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 – ESV)