Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… often attributed incorrectly to the Constitution, they are the famous words found in the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
You are free to choose how you spend your time, where you live, what you read, the words you speak, and the future you work towards. There are no hordes of barbarians at your gates, no wild beasts hunting you, you don’t have to spend your days gathering and hunting for your meals. If you believe you are being held down by some force, then you are – you will be holding yourself back.
So where is your time spent? This is where the small steps and freedom of choice come into play daily our lives. Will you watch a tv drama, a sports game, or go to the gym? We can spend our time on distractions or we can better ourselves and those around us. Exercise will make you feel better physically and mentally. If you feel better, those around you will notice and be inspired. Lead by example. Will you spend an hour on Facebook or pick up a book and feed your mind?
Liberty, wrote Thomas Jefferson, is “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” We are all given the right to do as we choose, as long as it does not infringe on others.
Many people confuse unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the right to be cared for and have our needs met for us. Our needs being met is not something we are owed by being born. We have the freedom to choose how we meet them through our decisions and how we spend our time.
Government was never intended to take care of our needs – that is what we are intended to use our freedom to accomplish. That and so much more! The beauty of life in our day is that meeting needs is just the beginning, the limit is the limit of your dreams and your hard work.
Very few people living in the United States understand this concept. Many people would prefer for the government to be our surrogate parents, taking care of us from the cradle to the grave. That has become a big pattern of this world. Paul writes in Romans that as Christians we are not to be conformed to the patterns of our world, but instead we should renew our minds, take care of our bodies, and seek God’s will. Are you renewing your mind? Taking care of your Body? Is your goal, as Paul instructs, to find and follow God’s will for your life?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.