The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 31, 2013

Trust: It’s more than a word on a coin

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published March 7, 2009.

“In God We Trust.” It’s right on the money, isn’t it? Well, yes. It’s just not as visible as it used to be.

Instead of appearing on the face of the coin, the inscription now wraps around the edge along with “E Pluribus Unum” and the year and mint mark.

However, in 2007, an unknown number of the new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly struck without their edge inscriptions. The mistake was corrected on subsequent batches.

Some folks are upset the words no longer appear on the face of the coin.

I’m more concerned our trust in God is less visible in our lifestyles than it used to be.

Sadly, I think we prove by our lifestyles and our values that we put more faith in the currency and coins on which “In God We Trust” appears than in God.

George Barna is a Christian pollster who keeps a thumb on the pulse of Americans who distinguish themselves from generic Christians by defining themselves as “Christ-followers.”

A 2002 Barna poll indicates only 3 percent of Christians who define themselves that way give 10 percent of their income as a tithe.

So, if we can’t trust God with one-tenth of the money He gives us, do we trust Him at all?

I think our perspective about God and money has become skewed somewhere along the line.

We’ve collectively come to see God as a giant genie in a bottle. Through prayer, we rub the magic lamp, and He is supposed to appear instantly and grant our every wish.

That wasn’t the God described by Jesus. Time after time, Jesus depicted God as the king, the landowner, the master, the holder of money and resources. God entrusted His wealth to humans and gave his subjects, gardeners, servants and stewards sound principles for managing those resources.

The money, crops and prosperity were never theirs to own, but to use to further the Kingdom of God on Earth.

What if our forefathers had inscribed the words “A Trust From God” on our currency? What if we, as a truly Christian nation, had a collective goal to manage that “trust” wisely? What if we weren’t so selfish and greedy? What if we wanted a raise or a good dividend on an investment so we could do more for the Kingdom of God?

What if we saw “A Trust From God” as a mission statement guiding our morals as well as our motives?

If we’re going to continue to print “In God We Trust” anywhere on our money, we need to make it a true statement. We need to display our trust in God by wisely managing all the resources that come from a trustworthy God we truly trust.