Now, that’s a motto to live by

You may have seen the recent news that a federal appeals court ruled against a lawsuit to remove “In God We Trust” from our nation’s currency, dismissing claims from a Texas atheist that the phrase was unconstitutional.

The lawsuit had called for the government “to destroy or recycle all circulating currency and replace it with new currency without religious inscription.”

Congress approved “In God We Trust” for the nation’s currency in 1864, and made the phrase the official national motto in 1956.

The Supreme Court has never decided a direct challenge to the motto.

I’m not sure how much difference such a symbolic statement like that makes, though I’m glad to hear of the court’s decision. It often appears that people trust in just about everything else, especially as it relates to their money.

With those four words so prominently displayed on all our currency, Americans have become more materialistic than any nation in the world. But it sure doesn’t hurt to have that reminder staring us in the face whenever we handle money.

Like so many other things, I guess it’s not what motto you profess on the outside, but what’s going on in your heart that counts.

It doesn’t really matter how many times you say “In God We Trust,” it only matters if you do.

The truth is, even for those of us who proclaim that salvation comes by faith alone — and faith is just another word for trust — it’s easy-to-lose sight of that in our day to day routine when we’re tempted to trust in just about anything else, most notably ourselves.

Sometimes it helps to intentionally step back and ask ourselves the question, “Who, or what, am I really trusting in?”

Listen again to the familiar words of Proverbs 3:5-6:  “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Now, that’s a motto to live by!

The Rev. Ken Letson is senior pastor of The Church at Shelby Crossings. You can reach him at