“He knows not how to rule a kingdom 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 himself; … neither can any govern himself unless his reason … be ruled by God, and be obedient to Him.” Hugo Grotius, a Dutch Christian writer
The quote by Grotius reminded me of a lecture I got from my Air Force father when I was in third grade. It seemed extreme since I never got in trouble, but it happened because he received a promotion in rank.
“I better never get a call from the school saying you’ve misbehaved or I could lose my job,” said Dad.
As young as I was, I understood our conversation when I overheard the explanation he gave my mom. The military believed a man had no business being promoted and overseeing other men if he couldn’t manage himself and his family.
I confused the idea of self-governed with governing others because I’d rather work on you.
I considered myself an expert about everyone’s life except my own. I offered advice to others, then fell to pieces (crying, cussing, and throwing things) over my own life. I knew how you should live even though I was a mess.
In fact, that’s why I focused on you. I couldn’t fix me.
I’m grateful to Kirk Cameron and his American Campfire Revival where he’s talked often during our 89 evenings together about governing ourselves. We don’t get better by forcing our beliefs on someone else. We don’t get better by complaining about their beliefs. We don’t get better by repeating our intentions, the ones we don’t do.
We get better when we self govern.
My ability to self govern begins within and with God. When I’m in relationship with Him, He transforms me, then uses me to help transform my family, my village, my city, and beyond.
During tonight’s campfire, Kirk said, “The most powerful force to transform the world ever unleashed on planet earth is the self-governed individual who loves God with all their heart and has made it their mission to heavenize the world by loving their neighbor.”
I want that as my mission. How about you?
In this together,