Among all of the seven superheroes in American history, Self-Government packs a real punch. If there’s anything about this hero which you need to be aware, it’s this: a free people depends heavily upon him.
Now that we have that out of the way, there’s something else of which you need to be aware. Self-Gov’t likes riddles of sorts. Yeah, he sounds like a real character. But there really isn’t any joking around with him. He’s actually quite serious, quiet, intentional, and has a principle which characterizes his heart. Below is a statement principle about this hero which you must understand:
“He knows now how to rule a kingdome, that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide a Family; nor can that man Govern well a Family that knows not how to Govern himselfe; neither can any Govern himself unless his reason be Lord, Will and Appetite her Vassals: nor can Reason rule unlesse herselfe be ruled by God, and (wholy) be obedient to Him.” -Hugo Grotius, 1654.
Wouldn’t you love to know where this expression of Self-Government’s heart comes from? Well, okay, I’ll tell you. But you’ll have to open up your Bible for yourself because there’s a lot to cover here. And I only have so much time (go to Proverbs 16:32 and 1 Timothy 3:5). So, for the sake of time here are 10 things about Self-Government that you need to know.
We shall concisely define what government means before we get started. Our beloved Webster’s 1828 Dictionary holds the authoritative meaning:
“Government: Direction; regulation; control; restraint.”
Therefore, we can reason that Self-Gov’t simply means: “The government of oneself.”
1. Self-Gov’t Has a Power Source
Indeed this hero does! And the source is Jesus Christ. For the secret behind his powerful punch is that the he’s governed in and through Christ. As long as Self-Gov’t relies upon the True Savior, our hero will have all the strength he needs to defend our Republic. Why is this? It’s because of his personal relationship with God.
2. Self-Gov’t Has Its Own Kryptonite
Disappointed? Look, it happens to each individual. Specifically, what weakens Self-Gov’t is self-indulgence. To be sure, relying upon Self-Government’s own faulty reasoning, he then places his trust in a false system. And this false system becomes a false savior. If this happens for too long and on too great of a scale, kapow! Self-Gov’t receives a huge blow from its arch enemy. But we’ll address the arch enemy and his favorite green weakening tool later.
3. Self-Gov’t is Local
Unlike some pie in the sky, Self-Gov’t is real and within reach. He might even be around pretty much wherever you are. And he might be quite busy handling multiple things at once.
In fact, he “unites termed municipalities or States, of managing their local affairs; but a degree of freedom in the individual to engage in the various pursuits of life, unrecognized elsewhere at the period when the Republic was formed, and yet unknown where centralization prevails, whether he chooses to act by himself or in association for civil or religious purposes; and this self-government exists in union with the fulfillment of every obligation demanded by the nation.” Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History ©1965 by Rosalie J. Slater, pp. 185, 186.
4. Self-Gov’t Helps in the Classroom
What teacher or parent would argue with this? Whether we’re talking about a classroom in a brick and mortar school or a homeschool, Self-Government’s presence is important. While he may be hard to spot in classrooms any more, here are some clues that he’s truly around:
- Does’t need to be reminded to show up quickly and punctually
- Is self-motivated
- On task with work he has been given to do
- Likes to do a good job
- Learns to apply self-gov’t in all he does (our superhero is always learning and applying)
Indeed, these are traits for which to endlessly search. And you just might catch a glimpse of him as he flits about busily among the daily lives of individuals.
5. Self-Govt’s Secrets
Well, perhaps it’s not so secret to some. But Self-Gov’t is successful by choice and he displays these highly admirable traits that pack a real punch:
- Thrifty and economical, he uses wisely his time, supplies, and anything else God provides for him. For stewardship is an internal reward to him.
- Like a busy bee, he’s quite industrious and takes initiative. Since he employs himself habitually with diligence with his mind and body, he’s reliable. Plus, he’s a real go-getter when he sees that its a worthy matter. And these are a noble combination of qualities.
- Self-reliant and confident, he places his trust in Christ to strengthen him to accomplish things. For instance, he accepts his responsibility to be a good steward of his talents and opportunities to use those talents. Finally, he relies on God to direct him in His purpose and will for his life.
In these ways, he’s not tempted to give in to his arch enemy when times get tough. Before too long, you’ll learn about this enemy. And you’ll learn about how he amazingly strikes this enemy with a left and then a right hook.
6. He Recognizes True Sovereignty
Oh, as you know, there are many sovereigns throughout history. Yet, Self-Gov’t has a way of identifying True Sovereignty. How does he do this? Simply put, he knows the Biblical role of civil gov’t vs. the role of God our Heavenly Father. Yes, our superhero not only knows where to place his trust and whom to rely upon, but he actually does it in good faith.
7. Self-Gov’t Understands America’s Christian Form of Gov’t
Indeed he does know! As such, he’s able to analyze issues and identify the root principle. Because of this, he’s able to vote wisely in order to preserve liberties for himself and his fellow man. Additionally, he’s able to demonstrate no need for legislation which is disguised as good but ends up in the wrong hands thus causing harm to others in the long run.
8. Our Superhero is a Part of the Solution
As you’re aware, there are so many needs around. But here’s the thing with our superhero, he’s wise on the principles regarding helping others. Plus, he’s wise on knowing what constitutes a true need.
See, most individuals naturally care for the well-being of others and want to help. Of course, this is a very noble character trait. But, what our superhero knows is how to identify if someone needs help or if someone wants to ride on the labor of others. Therefore, he can identify if he’s really helping or hindering someone depending on what he does. If he helps in the wrong way (even for all the right reasons) then he’s not a part of the solution.
Aside from actively helping others who are deserving of help as a member of the body of Christ is to, he aids volunteer associations. From the food bank, to the clothing bank, to being a caring neighbor, he’s there being hands and feet.
9. There Are Limits
Superhero doesn’t equate superhuman. Let’s face it, we all know that superheroes have their personal challenges. For instance, Self-Gov’t knows he needs to rely on God (don’t we all?).
But he also knows that there are limits to helping others. For this is a fallen world and everyone, including superheros, are awaiting the True Sovereign to return and reign.
That said, our 7 superheroes know that they’re to occupy until that time. And this do this by remaining within the roles of civil gov’t that God has laid out Biblically. For as generous as it is to want to save the world and solve all of the problems, it’s beyond the ability of mankind’s idea of how to do this. However, it’s not past God’s ability. For this reason it’s imperative that the family unit, the church, volunteer associations, and civil gov’t follow God’s roles for each.
10. Self-Gov’t Has an Arch Enemy
Now, for the moment many have been waiting for. This enemy is cleverly deceptive and many fall for it. Often times either out of false guilt or out of a sense of true accomplishment. For it likes to make one feel at fault if they don’t participate or else it feeds the yeast of pride (albeit a false sense).
His name is Manipulation.
He manipulates people from the external to the internal… trying to get you to do something.
“Everyone needs an education,” Manipulation cries out. So, Manipulation teases individuals into thinking that they need to pay for the education of others through forced taxation. Oh but what kind of education do they even receive? Is it possibly one that undermines God, the authority of His Word, and even America’s own form of Christian gov’t? To pay the price for students to learn how to tear down our nation with each consecutive generation is rotten. But see how Manipulation works through deception? Here’s a powerful punch: Self-Gov’t knows that parents or private education are the answer.
“We need to bring farms to the schools! Urban children need to learn where their food comes from,” Manipulation shouts! As such, Manipulation tells individuals that they need to solve this problem. And he happily picks pocket after pocket to do so. Here’s a powerful punch: Self-Gov’t knows that family, the church, volunteer associations, field trips, or books are some answers.
Self-Government is a real superhero because he places God above all and relies upon God’s system of gov’t above all. He doesn’t dethrone God and instead place civil gov’t on a throne.
I’d like to leave you with this quote:
“I have often and earnestly recommended industry and frugality, as virtues absolutely necessary to public happiness… It is the happiness of New England that property is more equally divided than in any other part of the world; and, I believe, the poor have advantages for acquiring a comfortable subsistence, and, even, for laying up estates, beyond almost any country whatsoever. But without industry and frugality, no people can flourish. If families live in idleness, if people go beyond their abilities in living, building, dress, equipage, and the like; if children are not carefully brought up to industry, there is no doubt they will be miserable, with the greatest and best advantages. It is therefore highly necessary, if considered only as the means of present public happiness, that children be trained up to useful business, that we retrench superfluities, that we content our selves with the effects of our own industry. These things I urge, not merely or chiefly as being at this time peculiarly necessary for answering political purposes in Great Britain, but as now and always necessary to the life and prosperity of a people.”
Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History ©1965 by Rosalie J. Slater, pp. 189, 190
With this in mind, we see the need for Self-Government in order to truly be a free people.