We, the People, Love Self-Evidence

“Let things true be preferred to things false,

things eternal to things momentary,

things useful to things agreeable.”

                                                             -Lucius Lactantius

by Gary

We hold these truths to be self-evident… first written as a declaration not only to Great Britain but to the far reaches of History as this great experiment in Freedom was begun. Two centuries ago it was a statement of unity in our belief that certain human values must be pursued collectively, as a ‘people.’ My fear is that our culture is in such a state currently that what many people hold to be self-evident is their personal right to happiness, which they consider independent from and above the collective good of the ‘people.’

Often, ‘I’ comes before ‘We.’

I say ‘often’ because I hate sweeping generalizations about people and because I know that we, as Americans, still

“We the People” by Joshua Frausto

“We the People” by Joshua Frausto

give more aid collectively and personally to needy people in the world than any other nation. But with that said, I think many of ‘We’ people have become spoiled by Freedom into believing that our personal preferences and happiness should come before the good of our fellow man.

“Surely God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He?” I hear this often in counseling with people. People use this sentiment-laden question to justify all sorts of behaviors in their lives from leaving marriages to leaving churches to walking on people to forward careers. To be honest, I’m pretty sure ‘happiness’ is not nearly as true in describing what God wants for us as ‘usefulness’ is. Happiness is an emotion based in situation. Instead, God wants joy and He knows usefulness leads to joy, which is an abiding state of mind brought about by purposeful living.

Purpose always trumps emotion.

I don’t have much pontificating to do on this subject because I struggle with it too. Just take some time to evaluate whether you’re living your life based on your personal preferences and personal happiness as opposed to living your life for the good of humanity, which should produce great joy when we understand our place in ‘We the People.’



Filed under New Thoughts

3 responses to “We, the People, Love Self-Evidence

  1. ‘purpose always trumps emotion’
    I like that… kinda puts the ‘game’ on, doesn’t it!?

    I’ve been thinking of America as the ideal… we think of ourselves as a nation, and I’m not suggesting a ‘new world order’ (gasp) but what if the ideal were really taken to heart, by us, by Europe, by Africa, India? I’m not talking politics here, I’m talking a way of life, where communities bond and lift up it’s poor, where individuals all have basic human rights. I could go on…

    hmm.. a tall order… but you know what, as a citizen in my world of ‘Hope Works’, I believe it’s on the menu!!! I believe the day will come.

  2. monkeedaddy

    A few of us guys at work have this regular lunch discussion and we talked about this today. I brought up this quote from “Your God Is Too Safe” by Mark Buchanan: “But God isn’t nice. God isn’t safe. God is a consuming fire. Though He cares about the sparrow, the embodiment of His care is rarely doting or pampering. God’s main business is not ensuring that you and I get parking spaces close to the mall entrance or that the bed sheets in the color we want are -miracle!- on sale this week. His main business is making you and me holy.” I don’t think our focus aligns with God’s focus most of the time. Look at the things we pray for – safety, peace, continuation of our comfortable lifestyle. Is that God’s purpose in our lives? I sure hope there’s more to it than that. I want the God that reigned down fire from heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice and I want Him doing those same powerful things with my life.

  3. Elizabeth

    “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” That Mother Teresa knows her stuff.

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