“In God we trust”. That is what it says on our currency. Does that mean that we as a nation believe in God? Does that mean that we have faith in God? Is trust the same as faith?
“In God we trust. All others pay cash”, is a quip with which most are familiar. Does that mean that we only trust an ephemeral, spiritual entity but we do not trust anyone with flesh and bone? The fact is that we do trust other human beings. We are social beings with individual skills that collectively make a society, a county, a nation work.
That does not mean that everything works perfectly. Sometimes our trust is abused by bankers, companies, governments, teachers, priests, parents, best friends, etc. Without trust, we live in constant fear. Enterprise diminishes. The weak and infirm languish. Suicide rates increase. Lawlessness becomes the norm. Unfortunately, there are parts of the world today where some people experience all of the horrors of lack of trust – parts of the Middle East and parts of Africa are examples.
Trust is essential to economic and social growth. I must trust that if I give you $1.00 you will give me $1.00’s worth of goods; I must trust that if I pay you to cure my indigestion, you will give me that right prescription to do so; I must trust that if I elect you as my leader, you will lead me to a better place. In societies where trust is a habit, faith can grow – faith in the God we propose to trust. In my experience, people of faith – faith in the God we trust – become the most trust worthy. My prayer is that our trust in each other will lead us to faith in the wisdom and love of the God that we say we trust.