What Was the Government Intended to Do?

“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.”

1 Peter 2:15-16

Ponder This

What is liberty? Liberty is responsibility assumed, not just “do your thing.” Can it thrive in a degenerate society? No, it cannot last for long. We cannot have self-government without self-control.

As character degenerates, the government must grow to cope with that societal decay. As government grows, people begin to equate security with dependence on government. So, the government begins to give to the people, and the people like it. But they fail to understand that the government cannot give them anything it doesn’t first take away. As the government begins to take, then “give it back,” we’re regulated, then controlled more and more.

Dear friend, the government is a watchdog to be fed, not a cow to be milked. Our Founding Fathers understood that. Wisely, they wrote into the Preamble to our U.S. Constitution what our government is actually for: to protect life and property. We can’t go out as individuals and raise an army to protect our land or be vigilantes carrying out street justice. We need the government for that. Government is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. It did not say provide the general welfare or sustain it.

Practice This

Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Our Republic is by a people of character, for a people of character, and only a people of character can keep it. Are you living in a way that strengthens our nation as “people of character”? Are you living according to 1 Peter 2:15-16?