America’s Free Fall

In a May 2022 Gallup poll on Values and Beliefs, over 50% of Americans rated the overall state of moral values in the U.S. as poor and 37% as fair. That left only 13% of Americans with a rating of good, and 1% as excellent. This is Gallup’s worst rating ever on American Values and Beliefs!

Ethics, Honesty, Integrity, Respect: as illuminated in four incandescent light bulbs
Ethics, Honesty, Integrity, Respect

Proverbs 10:4 says, “Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches.” God has designed us to work. Everything belongs to God, including the money we make. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living…Psalm 24:1 reminds us that “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belongs to the Lord.” Everything the Lord makes is good. It’s not about how much we have, it’s how well we serve God and others with it.

There’s a story told by Jesus Christ, the Parable of the Talents, in Matthew 25:14-30. This Parable serves as the backbone of the Stewardship Foundation and our guiding principle. It says that those who are entrusted with much, whether it be money, assets or non-financial riches, much is expected! Christ instructs us to “do something” with the riches we have — invest it, or share it – but never bury it.

As younger Americans stray from biblical truth to “find themselves” and older Americans reject the traditional biblical values that have defined Americans since our founding, they join a general population that no longer attends church services and is greatly influenced by what is seen and heard on the screens of millions of mobile devices. 

As the culture around us breaks down, our traditional moral values formerly based on the Word of God or moral tradition are ignored. Deciding that belief in God is not required to be a moral person, we become restless, self-centered, angry, immune to violence, and generally feel less safe.

Can we turn this loss of morality around? God made us, thus we are a reflection of our Creator. People can behave morally and not believe in God; we humans seem to know what’s good and want to do good things. This alone is because God does exist. 

Ranked #1 as the “most important problem with the state of moral values in the country today” was lack of consideration of others. However, personal accountability ranked near the bottom. An interesting, if not revealing, juxtaposition. 

As always, if we can provide guidance or advice to help you make make wise, moral decisions about your money, please give us a call at (614) 800-7985.

America Moral: Is There Hope?

Gallup ran a poll in May 2022 on Values and Beliefs: over 50% of Americans rated the overall state of moral values in the U.S. as “poor” and 37% gave a rating of “fair.” A little math reveals the sad truth that only 13% see U.S. moral values as “good” (12%) or “excellent” (1%). 

In all fairness, partisanship plays a role. Conservatives are more likely to give a lower rating as the morals of the country seem to have fallen to a new low. What was unthinkable a few generations ago — honesty, respect for the rules of law, sanctity of life, sexual morality — are no longer being embraced by the majority of Americans, especially younger Americans as they stray from biblical truth to fine moral guidance, and “find themselves” by rejecting the traditional values that have defined Americans since our founding in 1776.

Fewer Americans make moral choices based on faith, and are heavily influenced by what they see and hear on screens — whether it’s on the big screen in movie theaters, on television, or the millions of mobile devices that have taken over our lives.

What we believe dictates how we act. As the culture around us breaks down, every time traditional values based on the Word of God or moral tradition are ignored, the world becomes a bit more troubling, angry and less safe.

Moral values are the foundation of our ability to judge between right and wrong. They are formed from a person’s life experience (and often subject to opinion). For instance, we know that murder is wrong, but we don’t believe that driving “slightly” over the speed limit is; we know lying is wrong, but gossip…that’s not just a bad thing.

Can we turn this around? Perhaps we can with the younger generation. We can help our children and grandchildren by teaching them the 10 Commandments and giving them certain books to read, such as Aesop’s Fables for the young ones or To Kill a Mockingbird for preteens.

Raising kids who know and love God is the only place to start if we expect to reverse the moral decline in America in our lifetime —or in the lifetime of our grandchildren.

What God Says About Having Money

Supposedly, there are over 2,300 verses in the Bible about how to deal with money, possessions, greed, investing, and so on while only 500 verses address prayer and faith. Whether these numbers are fact or fiction is not the point…that all wealth given to us or earned by us is sourced from God IS the point.

And for this reason, it is wise to look at wealth from God’s point of view — that is, what he says about wealth in the Scriptures.

Nowhere in scripture is it said that wealth is a sign of God’s favor, even though in ancient biblical times it was thought that rich people were favored by God and the poor were poor simply because they were not in God’s favor. 

Jesus set them (and us) straight in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus [Luke 16:19-31] In short, Lazarus was dirt poor, covered in sores, lying at the door of an unnamed rich man. Both the poor man and the rich man died at the same time. The poor man was carried by angels to heaven; the rich man was condemned to the netherworld for eternity. If you’ve never read the story, read it here

The biblical view of wealth and riches is quite spelled out in 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Our job at the Stewardship Foundation is to be good stewards with our donors’ money, and our skills as charitable gift consultants in a public foundation is proven. Please pass this along to a friend that may be interested in our services.