American Dream or American Nightmare?

“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.” – Declaration of Independence.

Our country was founded with great zeal for the rights of all men to live life in great freedom. Where you and I place our affections, determines our level of fulfillment. The stability of that which we hold in highest esteem, will determine the stability of our lives.

Our society has completely lost track of that which is most important and fulfilling. The Declaration of Independence names three primary rights to which all men can aspire: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. None of the previously mentioned items are material – but all are intangibles.

Our American society has placed its sights on material possessions in order to find fulfillment. The foundation of our society is therefore faulty – resulting in decay and dissatisfaction. Divorce is ever increasing. Suicide is on the rise, as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

Possessions and positions are as volatile as the wind. Inflation depreciates the value of our dollar, cars get old and break down, the plumbing backs up in our beautiful homes, and banks go belly
up. With this volatility of possessions is it any wonder American lives are filled with disappointment?

We cannot expect our lives to be any more fulfilling and stable than that which we hold in highest regard.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:20-21: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Jesus promised life more abundantly, not abundance of things in life. So where are you and I as Christians placing our emphasis? What are we teaching our children? Are we more concerned with the things we give to our family than we are with time and emotional connection?

As individuals are we more concerned with how many chapters of the Bible we read and what good works we perform than hearing the voice of God and investing in sinners salvation? Are our churches more concerned about the quality of music and the stability of our finances–than lives being transformed by the Holy Ghost?

We must choose to place emphasis on that which is eternal and of greatest stability. Our relationship with Christ and others is what will bring greatest fulfilment and stability.

If we expect fulfillment in our personal lives, we must place family time and emotional connection above our education, careers, and forms of entertainment.

In our spiritual lives we must emphasis intimacy with Jesus Christ rather than what people see on the outside. Our children will follow what we do rather than what we say.

This year what are you teaching your children about… “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?

The above are excerpts from a sermon preached by my grandson, Anthony Hanson, last year. He just resigned his supervisory position in order to spend more time with his family and upon his ministry.

I ask you, “Is wisdom inherited?”


Photo credit: stan.faryna via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

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