“In God We Trust?” If Only That Were True

What does “In God We Trust” really mean to you? We either mean it, or we don't.

(photo: Pixabay/CC0)

We see it on our coins and dollar bills (and maybe even on our license plates) every day – our national motto – “In God We Trust.” But do we? Do we really trust in God? The evidence would indicate that most people who say they are Christian are only half-committed to that idea (if that). When that trust starts to make us uncomfortable, we only extend it so far. When it starts affecting our lifestyle, we tend to say, “Well, that’s not what Jesus really meant.” When it starts affecting our social status, family size, prestige at work, our career, or our savings and investments, we typically assume “trust in God” doesn’t apply here.

That's a very dangerous fence upon which to walk! Remember what Jesus says about those who are “lukewarm” in the Book of Revelation. He says, “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit (literally “vomit”) you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). Being half-committed to trusting in God isn’t good enough. Being sort of on board with Church teachings won’t cut it. Merely being a “good person” is not what Jesus calls us to.

Jesus doesn’t want us to obey him. He wants us to want to obey him! He doesn’t want us to “love” Him, ourselves and others. He wants us to truly love – in a Christ-like way! That isn’t the superficial, conditional, warm-fuzzy, temporary love that our society promulgates. This kind of love is the real deal. It’s selfless. It’s sacrificial. It’s unconditional. It is life-giving. It isn’t just accepting our cross. It’s latching on to that cross with joy and enthusiasm in knowing that this is God’s plan for our lives, and that we can trust Him to know better than us what is best for us!

How is your relationship with God? How much do you trust him? How different would that relationship be if you spent one month — just 30 days — truly making him top priority in all aspects of your life each day? What if you took inventory of every area of your life, prayed about each one, and submitted each item to God? (Spending time in Eucharistic Adoration is a great way to focus on this, by the way.)  Most people will not try this, not because they think something won’t happen. It is precisely because they think something will happen, and that is terrifying!

I spent many years figuring I knew better than God. I assumed that because I was reasonably intelligent and was pretty good at problem-solving, that I could handle whatever came my way. But then my career didn’t go the way I planned. And money problems developed. And my wife and I decided we wanted kids but weren’t able to have them. But then, God somehow got hold of my heart. I finally realized I was powerless to solve these problems on my own. I turned these things over to Him, and He didn’t disappoint. Did he handle it in the way I would have? Absolutely not. And the ride was very bumpy at times. But, I had a sense of peace that I had never had before. And he did not disappoint. Trusting in him like that helped me understand what He means by having a “childlike faith.” He is our Father. We are his children. He would never abandon us, but He will let us learn things the hard way if we insist on doing it on our own. (Isn’t that what a truly loving father does, after all?)

How much do you trust God with your money? Tithing isn’t done because God wants your money. It’s because He wants you to have a proper relationship with money. How much do you trust Him with your fertility? Perhaps you’ve heard couples say, “Oh, now that we have our boy and our girl – we’re done.” How do they know? Have they discussed this with the Lord? Doesn’t it seem odd that God would give us the gift of fertility if he didn’t want us to make use of it – on his terms and according to Hhs plan?

How much do you trust God with your marriage? With your work? With forgiving others? What does “In God We Trust” really mean to you? We either mean it, or we don't. There's no gray area here. If we don’t, we’re left to live in the little box we’ve built for ourselves. It’s a dull, unimaginative box with lots of unintended consequences, but by golly, it’s our box. If, on the other hand, we want to open ourselves up to limitless possibilities, God’s ready. Are you?