Tuesday, February 9, 2016
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Morality in America

Morality in America

When studying the founding of the United States, you can’t help but encounter the faith of the nation’s forefathers. Time and again they recognized God’s hand in the shaping of America. You will find Him repeatedly mentioned in their words and documents. And you will find Him having an active, vibrant role in the country’s early history.

Today, God continues His work in America – but it’s in a nation that has clearly lost its moral compass. Every week, “Morality in America” will address the myriad of moral concerns facing the United States and undermining its Godly heritage.  After you read, remember to intercede in prayer for America – that this nation will return to the Christian standards that once defined it.

A Nation of Givers

Morality in America

Americans—the world's most charitable people

By Candy Arrington

The new Almanac of American Philanthropy cites Americans as the world's most generous people, according to a recent report in the Washington Examiner. Over half of Americans in each income bracket (except those earning less than $25,000) donate to charity. The wealthiest Americans are responsible for over a third of total donations and for 86 percent of donations made after death.

Why Americans are generous

Although Americans are often criticized for being greedy and self-serving, when disaster strikes, nations across the globe look to America for support and are not disappointed. The United States has long been the champion of the downtrodden, welcoming refugees escaping terror, abuse, persecution and poverty. While some vehemently question the wisdom of Americans’ generosity, world-wide philanthropy and open arms, the nation’s history and tradition is rooted in welcoming and aiding those in need. Americans help others because ample resources are available, resources many other countries don't possess. Americans enjoy the blessings of numerous freedoms that allow anyone to succeed financially. While some may be motivated to charitable giving as a tax write-off or to gain recognition, many Americans give because they recognize their blessings and give from hearts of gratitude.

What the Bible says about generosity

In Leviticus 19, God instructed Moses to gather the people of Israel and give them a number of directives. Among those were instructions to provide for those in need. “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10)

A central tenant of the Early Church was an awareness of the needs of others and pooling resources to help those with less. Believers gave generously and freely. “For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, or their own accord” 2 Corinthians 8:3 says. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others,” Philippians 2:4 encourages readers. And Hebrews 13:16 says sacrificial giving pleases God, “Do not neglect to do good, and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Monetary gifts are not the only form of giving. Sharing time, talents and knowledge can be just as beneficial to those in need. While some may have the attitude that giving depletes, Proverbs 28:27 says, “Whoever gives to the poor will not want.” This verse provides the assurance that giving will not result in your own poverty. Isaiah 58:10-11 promises spiritual, physical and emotional rewards for generosity: “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Blessings and fulfillment result from a spirit of generosity.

1 John 3:17 calls into question the sincerity of a person's faith who is unwilling to help those in need. “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?” But the Bible also has words of condemnation for those who live off the generosity of others when they are able to work and provide for themselves. “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

For some, generosity is learned—observed and imitated. For others, it is an innate quality or one adopted as a result of feelings of responsibility or gratitude. No matter the source, Americans give to help those in need.

Pray that:

Candy Arrington has written hundreds of articles on tough topics for a wide variety of publications and enjoys teaching and speaking on these topics. 

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