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Ask Chuck: America has lost its way and decaying. What to do?

Ask Chuck your money question

Dear Chuck,

My husband and I believe America has lost its way. I see so much pride, division, financial fear and greed that I wonder if we can even recover. How can an individual make a difference?

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Overwhelmed by America’s Decay


Dear Overwhelmed,

You, like so many others, are expressing a sense of gloom that has come over the nation. As believers, we are inwardly groaning at what we see happening to the nation that once stood as a beacon of light to a dark world. And your concerns are reflected in the data.

According to findings in a recent survey by the Wall Street Journal, traditional or core American values are declining, while the value placed on money is increasing:

  • Under 40% of Americans said patriotism was very important to them, and a similar share said the same about religion. In 1998, when the publication first asked about these values, 70% of Americans felt patriotism was very important, and 62% felt that way about religion.
  • The number who say hard work, having children, and involvement in their community are very important has also fallen over the decades.
  • Notably, the poll found that money was the only factor assessed that grew in importance. It was cited as very important by 31% of respondents in 1998 and 43% in 2023.

The loss of values that unite and the increase in the value placed on money are dangerous trends.  Most tension, family friction, strife, anger, and frustration are caused directly or indirectly by money. Christians have access to biblical financial principles, but do we implement them? Many do not — either by choice or ignorance.

Love is not proud

C.S. Lewis called pride “the great sin.” He said, “Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”

If we humble ourselves before the Lord, individuals can make a difference, and God has given us clear instructions on what we are to do!

God is love and desires that we use what He provides, whether great or small, to love Him and others. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 ESV). This applies to every area of our lives — even finances. Do you know anyone who models this well? If not, can I challenge you to become that person? The world needs examples!

Below are three ways you can begin to make a difference.

Financially love your family

No matter how much our culture drifts away from God, we are to care for the needs of our families. This includes their financial, spiritual and emotional needs:

  • “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8 ESV).
  • “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God … However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:1–2,33 ESV).
  • “Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:3–4 ESV).

Financially love your church

We can plug into our local, Bible-believing, Gospel-centered church and support its mission and programs. Change happens in community, and the Church was created to strengthen one another as we serve others in love:

  • “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10 ESV).
  • “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV).
  • “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17–18 ESV).

Financially love your neighbors

We are to care for one another in word, deed, and dollars:

  • “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14 ESV).
  • “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35 ESV).
  • “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16 ESV).

America is not our home

The core problem is that the world has been ravaged by sin since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commands. We need personal redemption from the sin that has controlled us and a kind and generous heart toward those who remained trapped in the darkness.

While we are blessed to live in America, I am constantly reminded that it is only our temporal home. Let’s do all we can to be salt and light until our journey here is complete.

The Crown God Is Faithful devotional can offer some inspiring and practical Biblical wisdom in such uncertain times. You can subscribe to receive daily devotionals that will not only help transform your finances but will also provide much-needed encouragement. May it be a blessing!

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Economic Evidence for God?. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.

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