Whether you believe it or not, we are all children of God and we all have within us seeds of excellence and the ability to cultivate prosperity and success. We were all created to grow to our fullest potential, and to enjoy the bounteous blessings God has in store for us.
What does this have to do with politics? Well, I remember being in a political science class my senior year of high school. We were studying a method of government that was based on the premise that everyone would be well cared for. Everyone would have all they needed, because the government would see to it.
I came home confused because it seemed that it sure sounded like the right plan. But I knew my father disagreed with the philosophy, and I couldn’t figure out why. I finally mustered the courage to ask him about it. “Dad, what’s so wrong with it? Don’t we as Christians want to make sure everyone has what they need?”
His reply was profound. He said, in essence, “Leslie, it all goes back to how God deals with us.”
With that, he had my attention. He continued, “God sent us to earth to live and grow and learn. He wants us to reach our highest potential. Many choices we make lead us to bondage in one form or another, and there are many more doors open to us when we have made good life decisions. The better the choices we make, the greater our freedom.”
I continued to listen.
“Now, do you think He wants us all to do what is right?” he asked.
“Does He make sure that we do?”
“Not really, He’s kind of left us on our own to make mistakes.”
“And when we make mistakes does He protect us from feeling the pain that comes from making mistakes?”
“No, He doesn’t.”
“So,” my father continued. “He sent us all down to earth, knowing full well that we would make mistakes and knowing full well that we would suffer for those mistakes.”
“Yeah, I guess so… seems kind of harsh.”
“What happens to a child that grows up with a parent that doesn’t let him get hurt, or bails him out every time he goofs up?”
“It ruins the kid,” I said thoughtfully. “He grows up thinking that life owes him something. His pain is always someone else’s fault.”
“Honey, that’s why we always look for leaders who understand that principle. Give us a leader who will protect our freedom… to succeed, and even to fail. Give us a leader who is more concerned about what God thinks than what a deteriorating society thinks. Let the deteriorating souls vote for a President who promises to protect them from the consequences of their own unlawful choices, but as for me, I want a President who hopes I succeed, but will not try to save me from myself. I have lessons to learn, too. I want to become all I can be, and that requires that I learn from my mistakes.”
As I thought about what my dad said, it raised more questions in my mind. As I got older, and married, and struggled through school and struggled to raise little kids, I often reflected on his words. For example, I tried as best as I knew how to live the way I thought God wanted me to live. But what did it get me? We were living in poverty, and the stresses that go with financial lack sent me into anger and depression.
Our multiple attempts to rise out of the wretchedness were of no lasting effect. But I continued to vote for political leaders who represented philosophies consistent with my beliefs. I believed we could make it on our own. I believed that we would somehow find our own solution to the problems with Social Security, and medical insurance coverage. We weren’t succeeding, but I clung to the principle. I voted for what was good for us, like eating our vegetables when we’d rather be eating dessert.
Well, it isn’t very common that people naturally do what’s good for them, when something more enticing is available. It’s much easier to get someone to eat a cupcake than a head of broccoli, right? Just as it is enticing when one Presidential candidate promises that all our needs will be met.
Give me a leader who will protect me from terrorists so that I can be free to search for the answers on how to provide for myself. Let me find the power within myself to solve my problems. Let me feel the pain so that I might discover the remedy. Let me struggle so that I might grow. Let me fall so that I will learn. Let me be.
So what is the government for, anyway? It is to do what I cannot do. My own personal realm of influence cannot tear down the oppressive evil of tyrants. I cannot stop the dictators of the earth from violating the rights of my brothers and sisters across the globe. But I can vote for a President who is committed to doing that. I will vote for a President who understands a government’s role. It is not their job to meet all of our needs.
For example, it isn’t his job to make sure we have one. It isn’t up to him to pass initiatives that make me feel better about my errant choices. His role is to throw down the murderous, evil influences that threaten our ability to reach our own greatest potential. It is his job to provide us with as much freedom as possible. One thing I know for sure is that the more government does to take care of its people, the higher the taxes. And the higher the taxes, the less freedom we enjoy.
Both candidates do have to tax us to some extent. Pay attention to their philosophy, though. Are they taxing us to spread the wealth more evenly, thus discouraging the ambitious; or are they taxing us primarily to provide for those who -truly- cannot help themselves, and for a strong military force that provides the protection we cannot provide as individuals? If we must be in bondage to taxes at all, let it be to purchase our liberty.
My own realm of influence can discover, even create, solutions to my own problems. Let a president protect my liberty, and I’ll rely on God to show me how to meet the rest of my needs and prosper.
After all, it is In God We Trust.
About the Author: A contributor to multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Leslie Householder is the award-winning two-time best-selling author of “The Jackrabbit Factor” and “Hidden Treasures.” She is the co-founder of PrinciplesofProsperity.com a site dedicated to helping people gain more family time and money freedom through the little-known but critically fundamental principles of prosperity, and http://ThoughtsAlive.com She is a wife and mother of seven children.