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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.
The Declaration of Independence
Today is Day Four of Truth Week here on The Stretched Blog. This week has STRETCHED me in new ways as I’ve forced myself to focus on this topic. As I’ve gone through this week, it’s been interesting to reflect. I want all my posts to be full of truths, and I hope that a week that focuses on truth doesn’t negate the truth of other Stretched posts.
I’m not a constitutional expert, and it’s been a long time since I studied The Declaration of Independence back in junior high school. But when I thought about the word TRUTH, this sentence from a founding document of our country popped into my mind. While this document has come to represent the United States of America. I get the feeling that our founding fathers meant it for the whole world.
From there my mind goes to the book of James:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
And then I go to Philippians:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
We are challenged by Paul to think about whatever is true. And then James commands us to look after orphans and widows. They share the same rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we do. Unfortunately, sometimes their position in this world prevents them from ever experiencing the life, liberty, and happiness that our founding fathers talked about.
As our family plans for our trip to Guatemala this summer, we think more and more about widows and orphans, because much of our attention during our missions trip will be focused on the widows and orphans of the small village of Xenacoj. It’s true that it may have been poor decisions that has left them to fight an up hill battle. It’s true that it may be a pattern that has been passed down over the past few generations. With these truths in mind, many might say “It’s their fault; let them take care of themselves.” But I believe this would deny the truth proclaimed in James. As believers, we need to look after the widows and orphans.
Look around you in your towns and nearby cities. There are people around you who simply need a helping hand. As individuals, we have the privilege, the honor, and the responsibility, to extend a hand to help those in our communities and around the world who cannot help themselves. This doesn’t need to be the responsibility of government or other organizations. It starts with you and me. And this is truth we all need to hear and remember.
How can you help others in your community and around the world to know and experience truth? What does this sentence from The Declaration of Independence mean to you?
(If you’re interested in finding more out about how you can help the widows and orphans in Xenacoj – Guatemala, click here.)
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