The common good

A blessing from my early years in public school is remembering the preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This introduction was added after the framers outlined the most promising form of government in human history. The Constitution gets debated, interpreted by the courts, and amended by Congress. But the preamble hasn’t been touched. It stands to declare that the sacred purpose of American government is the common good.

A blessing from my later years in Christian school is remembering these words of God: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 ESV). The ultimate expression of faith in Jesus is concern for others that supersedes concern for ourselves. It is such a privilege to live in a nation where practicing our citizenship lines up so nicely with practicing our faith.

Agreeing on the common good is challenging in a big, diverse nation like America. We are in the process of deciding what the common good should be. Our democracy leans different directions after the votes are counted. But it hasn’t fallen. It won’t fall as long as one thing we have in common is concern for each other.

Jason had a career as a teacher, counselor, and leader. He has written and spoken extensively on a variety of topics related to the Christian life. He has been a contributing writer for Time of Grace since 2010. He has authored Grace Moments devotions and Straight Talk Books including, Help Me, Jesus; One Day Full of Grace; and When in Doubt. Jason lives with his wife, Nancy, in Wisconsin.


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