Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness | Sojourners

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Christian’s primary responsibility, politically speaking, is to live as a witness to the Truth. That Truth, revealed in Christ, is that God’s love is unconditional and total; it refused to give in or compromise itself for anything; it refused, therefore, to adopt any means which is a contradiction of the end--of love. Acting in response to such love, then, does not mean guiding our actions according to their pragmatic effectiveness, but rather, acting with a simple willingness to witness to the Truth. Thus, one’s life may even be given in suffering, if necessary, in order for this witness to be possible. When such suffering comes, God’s way can make such love, though seemingly defeated, totally victorious. This we see in the Cross and the Resurrection.

So the follower of Christ refuses to calculate his actions and measure his life on the basis of worldly effectiveness and success, but rather lives only according to his conformity to God’s love, God’s will and God’s Truth.

Gandhi’s life serves as a modern example that can shed light on what we mean. His actions and his life were meant as an internal witness to truth, rather than as an effective political means. If that truth had its way in the hearts and lives of people, it would produce profound political consequences. That was apparent. But his philosophy, his non-violence was not a political tactic; it was part of truth as he understood it. It had to be set forth simply for its own sake, regardless of the consequences.

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