The July column and podcast is now available. If you would like to read previous columns to go the Hope for Today Blog. If you would like to listen to the Hope for Today podcast you can access it on Libsyn. When the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, our forefathers built their hopes of the nation’s survival on some important principles. John Witherspoon, one of the Declaration signers wrote, “Nothing is more certain than that a . . . corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction.” This is the principle of a Civil Society. Witherspoon and other founders repeated this idea believing if America did not upkeep its civility it would become its greatest downfall. Would Franklin, Hancock and Adams be encouraged at the state of our union today? According to a USA Today poll from several years ago 68% of readers thought people were more rude today then 20 to 30 years ago. Manners, etiquette, politeness all speak of civility. Sandra Morisset, a professional etiquette trainer, gave ABC news an insight on a civil society saying “It’s all about your self-awareness and treating others with respect. If you’re not aware of your behavior, that’s a problem.” I agree. Many Americans seem to practice self-realization throwing off any concerns about “what people may think” and just “being themselves”. Yes, we should be ourselves but not to the extent we become careless in our attitude and lifestyle to those around us. Crime, political corruption, declining business ethics, family conflicts, broken friendships and church divisions all have their root in a lack of civility. Since our founding we have advanced economically, educationally and technologically but plummeted in our manners. What did our founders believe was the foundation for a civil society? God. They believed if Americans chose to worship and follow Him it would lead us to become moral citizens and assure a civil society. However, if future generations turned from God they warned that immoral behavior would rise and anarchy fill our streets. Jesus said, “I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus suffered, died and rose again centuries ago that we might be made into a new person. If we believe in Him with all our being He will give us a new heart and mind. When that happens everything changes. We become a new person laying down our lives in love and service to others for the glory of God. Imagine waves of people in city after city being born again and putting the concerns of others above themselves. This is the answer for America’s future. May Jesus be your hope for today and the next generation.