It is not just our government that is heading for a fiscal cliff. When it comes to money we all stand on the precipice in one form or another. And our rescuer, the salvation of our national and personal plight is right in front of us.
Consider this. Today millions of Americans will risk their marriage and sacrifice their family to accumulate more money believing it will bring them the security and happiness they lack. Millions more will buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have, hoping more ‘stuff’ will give their life meaning.
Countless more will shove wads of cash across store counters, hand rolls of bills to unnamed providers in alleys and out car windows, and swipe credit cards through machines all to feed their addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food and pornography – their quiet acts of desperation meant to find peace in an increasingly uncertain and broken world.
And in churches across our country, some 90% of pew-sitters will keep an average of 97% of their bills in their pocket when the offering plate is passed, fearful that if they give more, they will not be left with enough.
Here is the staggering paradox. Each of these scenarios was carried out using a currency that has emblazoned across it, “In God We Trust.” Adopted as the official motto of the United States of America in 1956, it is imprinted on every coin we mint and every bill we print. It is proclaimed in the 4th stanza of the Star Spangled Banner and in the past six years has been reaffirmed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
What would happen in America at this critical hour if we really chose to read what’s on our money and believe it? I submit it would transform our nation and save our souls. If we proclaimed our absolute trust in a gracious, loving and all-powerful God by every financial transaction we made, our national and personal cliffs’ might just disappear.
Imagine mothers and fathers choosing different lifestyles that enabled them to balance family and marriage with work, believing that real wealth comes in what we cannot buy and secure in the knowledge that if they trust him, God would be their Provider.
Imagine every buying decision made this Christmas being preceded by a simple prayer asking, “do I need this, is this a God-honoring purchase, and am I trusting God in this use of this money?”
Imagine millions of souls being loosed from their bondage to their addictions (and we all have them) because they embraced the motto, and chose to trust in God to sustain them, transform them and set them free.
And imagine God’s people sitting in God’s house across our country joyfully and sacrificially giving more than they ever thought possible, confident that God would supply all of their needs, according to his great riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
This is not some wild dream. It only requires we embrace and believe our country’s motto. How ironic that we can look to the symbol of our greed, addictions, anxieties and fears, and find right there on it, the very words that can save our souls and set us free.