Saturday, July 29, 2006

In God We Trust

Sunday July 30 will be the 50th anniversary of “In God We Trust” being the official motto of the United States. That act of Congress is of some controversy today. There are those who would like to have the motto dropped because it seems to be a case of government establishing religion.

Those feelings of opposition have not always been so. I’m not referring to 1956. There was even some opposition then. I’m referring to 1861. In the aftermath of our Civil War Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, received many appeals from people across the country to recognize God on United States coins. On November 20, 1861, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollack, director of the Philadelphia mint, to prepare such a motto opining, “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people should be declared on our national coins.”

“In God We Trust” first appeared on a two-cent coin in 1864 by an Act of Congress in April of that year and so it has been since.

Whether you appreciate or dislike the motto on American currency, reflect with me for a moment on the meaning. Obviously many of us place a lot of trust and hope in money. We work hard for it. We plan extensively how to save, invest and spend it. We worry about money and when we have some we celebrate money. For the most part Americans could more accurately be described as “In Money We Trust”.

What if? What if we really did trust in God instead of money? What if God really does do all that the Bible and believers claim? If God truly holds the power of life and the wisdom on how to live it would we dare trust money more than our Maker?

If you haven’t settled the issue of God’s trustworthiness then perhaps today is a day for you to spend some time in thought and even prayer. I consider this to be THE most important issue in life.


Donna said...

To totally trust is like letting loose of a balloon and watching it fly away not knowing and fearful of the obstacles it must overcome to reach its destination. It is scary to "trust" everything to God because we literally saying we no longer want to be in control of our life. My generation was taught you can't trust anyone but ourself. Yet if I really search my soul I know my deepest desire is to understand what it really means to "trust" in God without reservation. To trust God means to me placing my faith in God on the unknown of what tomorrow will bring. It is hard, and my only prayer can be God help me to be willing to trust.

Scott Brewer said...


Thanks for your reflections about trust. Trusting God often does involve our learning how to live without working to be in control of everything.

I've also experienced those times when God gave me courage that was beyond myself so that I might trust Him. That is my prayer for you today.