Dose of Truth

Do more than talk…

Tim Richards

Several years ago, my children gave me a book of presidential quotes for Father’s Day. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day allow me to share four quotes from presidents and then see if you can match the quotations to the correct president. The answers will be at the end of the column.

The following statements were made by Presidents Millard Fillmore, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama.

1) “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”

2) “My faith is one that admits some doubt.”

3) “May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.”

4) “You may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

Often presidents are held to incredibly high standards. Here are a few of the unkind things written about past presidents. Mort Sahl wrote, “Washington couldn’t tell a lie, Nixon couldn’t tell the truth, Reagan couldn’t tell the difference.” The Houston Telegraph complained, “Lincoln is the leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs and arms and hatchet face ever strung on a single frame. He has most unwarrantably abused the privilege, which all politicians have, of being ugly.”

Whenever I write about any politician, I know some readers will assume I am being political. Let me be clear, I am not. Some love each president while others do not. But whatever you think of your current president, governor, senators, or representative they have a great deal of influence and responsibility.

I never tell others who to vote for, but I want to challenge everyone to ask God to help our political leaders. Regardless of whether you voted for the current officeholders or not, each of us should pray for them.

The Apostle Paul encouraged us to pray for them almost 2,000 years ago when he wrote, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NLT)

It is easy to talk about our leaders, but it is far better to pray for them. Everyone who serves at the highest levels of federal or state government needs God’s help to make wise legislative decisions.

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day let me encourage you to talk less about our political leaders and pray more for them. Ask God to help them lead us wisely.

In the quiz, statement one was made by Roosevelt, two by Obama, three by Fillmore and four by Lincoln.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at