In God we trust?
From people across a land embroiled in a Civil War came appeals to Washington DC asking for words to be printed on the currency recognizing the nation’s dependence on God. In response, the first coins with the words “In God we trust” were minted in 1864. At first only certain coins bore the imprint though various others soon followed course. When the 1907 double eagle gold coin design came out without the words, people responded. The popular demand was so great the in 1908 Congress made it mandatory that all coins bear the words “In God we trust.” The phrase eventually made its way to paper currency as well.
Several years later the 84th Congress approved it and on July 30, 1956 President Eisenhower signed into law our national motto- “In God we trust.”
I find the history of our motto fascinating and can’t help seeing how well it ties in with a verse in Psalms-
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 33: 12
Yesterday I listened to a podcast of Andy Stanley [God & Country series from July 2012, Yourmove.is]. His words left me pondering the happenings & trends I see in our nation.
Are we a nation who still believes “In God we trust”? Can you imagine the response that would come if public employees such as teachers were to follow up the national pledge of allegiance with the national motto?
What has happened to our country? Is it the rise of other religions? More immigrants? Certain behaviors? No. To borrow from Stanley, it is our affluence.
Check out the words of Solomon- the wisest man to ever live-
“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30: 8-9
Our land is wealthy. We have more stuff and conveniences than any generation that has come before us. When faced with such success, human nature says ‘look what I DID!’ We have gotten away from thanking God for what he has provided and even more alarming, we have gotten away from the belief that we are accountable to God for our actions.
In our affluence we have turned the motto “in God we trust” into the question “Who is the Lord?” The farther away we get from gratitude and accountability to God the more hatred and injustice we see rise. Burning churches? Appalling! My heart weeps at the things I see in our land.
In the document from July 4, 1776 we call the Declaration of Independence God was not removed.
“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.”
Our forefathers didn’t all view God and Christianity in the same way but they understood they were accountable to God their Creator. That accountability eventually led to the abolition of slavery, rights for women, and the Civil Rights Movement- all because of the belief that God created all men equal. “In God we trust” has guided our nation and shaped us into the greatest country in the world. But what does the future hold for our land as we move farther away from our motto… from this belief?
Instead of pointing fingers and blaming political agendas, we need to pause this weekend for some self-reflection & ask-
- Do I have an attitude of gratitude to God for all he has blessed me with or do I believe I have what I do because I work hard, hold certain skills, and am just that capable?
- Do I live my life, make my decisions, spend my money, and treat others with the underlying knowledge that I am accountable to God for my actions or do I think I have the right to do whatever I please?
- Do I live by the truth “In God we trust” or has affluence led me to ask- ‘who is the Lord’?
We can’t expect the turning back of our nation to God if we are not turning to Him…
Lord, examine my heart. Change me. May I recognize your blessings and live my life accountable to you. Amen!