The Statesman Developing the Most Important National Resource
Within our world, there is a clamoring for national wealth, potentially advancing power and prestige for those in leadership. Typically, economic growth becomes the measuring stick for effectiveness of an administration. This leads to natural resource utilization being a high priority. An effective economy is certainly important. However, if we consider our Creator’s intentions, we recognize a different priority. Let us pause to reflect: What is the resource that every nation has? It is its people. Our Creator has intended for nations to be collections of people enjoying blessing in a peaceful environment, with each person reaching his/her full potential. Understanding the priority of people is seen from God’s instruction as He created humanity:
God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth – everything having the breath of life in it. I have given every green plant for food” (Genesis 1:26-30).
Here, as God describes His creation to mankind, He uses the phrase “for you”. The individual human being is God’s ultimate creation and everything else is there to benefit the individual in achieving the dignity and life for which God created him.
Government was designed by our Creator to facilitate His grand purpose for mankind. Government was instituted to possess authority that the individual citizen does not possess and to be entirely used on behalf of the people so that each individual:
may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:2).
Jesus further described that quality of life this way:
… that they may have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10).
Here Jesus, as God and Creator, is describing God’s goal for life in the fullest possible way for every human. Thus, when God uses the term ‘life’, He means very much more than “to breathe”. Let us consider what God’s full life for humanity entails and what the implications for Government are.
This intended life must certainly begin with physical life, which, of course from our Creator’s perspective, means from conception to natural death. Based upon this, our clear priority in helping each human being to reach his or her full potential must include adequate healthcare. This certainly means for the Government to facilitate the best healthcare possible – not necessarily to finance it, but to facilitate it and ensure it.
Mental life and Practical Skills for life
This entails developing the full person, where the person can think and express oneself and have the skills to participate in the economy to support oneself. And since Jesus uses the word “abundance”, we know God intends us to experience more than mere survival. Thus, closely following healthcare is education in terms of freeing the individual to unlock his/her full potential. From our Creator’s Instruction, this is primarily the responsibility of the Family. Customarily, the Government supports the Family in the process of equipping, but when it does, it does so under the supervision of the Family.
Thus, healthcare and education are immediately obvious, and must be reflected in the budget.
There are two aspects to the environment necessary in supporting the individual in reaching his/her full potential. Providing an economic environment where individuals and families can fully reach their full potential is obvious. This involves policies that support entrepreneurship, as well as actively integrating into the international economic order. This is based upon the reality that the economy is not for the sake of the nation and, potentially its impact, and not for the benefit of the wealthy and influential, but for the individuals who make up the nation and, especially, those most disadvantaged. It is a national tragedy when talented individuals must leave the nation because avenues for fulfilling their gifting are not available.
Thus, a viable economy must be understood as important in support of the people achieving their full potential. However, it must be kept in perspective as a part of serving the individual in reaching his/her full, God-given potential. At the same time, it must be recognized that when individuals reach their full potential, the economy can be expected to benefit as a result.
All of this focus must take place within an environment where justice prevails; and where economic opportunities exist so that individuals can reach their full potential. Justice is the longing of the human heart. An early instruction from God makes the importance of justice clear:
Pursue justice and justice alone (Deuteronomy 16:20).
But there is one more area necessary to ensure humanity reaches its full life intended by our Creator –
This is the ultimate that Jesus had in mind when He said:
I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10).
This is the ultimate element of our lives which separates us humans from the rest of His creation, and which the Government has responsibility to support. The full life as described by Jesus, is based upon a personal friendship with God, and is the ultimate in God’s purpose for creating us. That life was further described:
Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men (John 1:4).
Jesus elaborated on this intended life:
But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life (John 4:14).
In recognizing this truth, we also recognize that this quality is not, according to current thinking on Government, the responsibility of Government, but rather the responsibility of Family and the Religious Institution. However, it is extremely important that Government do nothing to hinder that full life based on a personal, intimate relationship with God, our Creator and our King, through Jesus.
In summary, the riches of a nation are not measured by its mineral resources, but rather by its people, and a nation will only reach its full potential when all of its people achieve the life God intends for them.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE STATESMAN:
Do I have our Creator’s perspective on the importance of human beings and their priority in the richness of our nation? Am I fully using the authority at my disposal to develop that quality of life – Physical life; Mental life and Practical Skills for life; and Spiritual life – for each one for whom I am responsible?