Everyone knows what today is…it is Tax Day! In fact, this year we get an extra two days to mull over the papers and wring our hands to figure out if we owe or get a refund from the government because of the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day that fell on Monday.
We filed several weeks ago, so today doesn’t mean anything drastic for my family, but I know several people who wait until the last moment and others who have to get an extension, which only postpones the inevitable! We are all paying one way or another!
Yes, I complain! Yes, I think we pay too much! Yes, I dread the April 15th date every year!! It’s a ton of work and all I see are dollars being taken away from the bank account!
Okay, now that I’ve been honest, let’s take a look at what the United States provides for me…freedom, security, safety, opportunity and liberty. The list goes on, but you get the point. We are paying for a way of life that is like no other country in the world. We are blessed beyond imagination when compared to other countries.
What I find very interesting is that as citizens of the world and as God’s creation we are given the choice to give back or not. Obviously, if you live in the United States you are required to pay taxes and will suffer grave consequences if you do not.
However, what are the consequences of not making an effort to pay the ‘tax’ of living in the world?
Like listing the provisions of the United States, everything I have is from my Heavenly Father. He has provided a healthy body, a sound mind, a will to learn, the capacity to learn, a good job, a safe country and much more! He even helps write the paycheck that gets drafted into the bank account every two weeks. God truly has His hand on everything given or taken away in my life.
“And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’” Job 1:21
When I think of God being the provider of all things in my life, I have a different perspective on giving back then when I think of ME being the maker of my life.
John Ortberg wrote in his book, When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box:
I have been around churches for a long time. Do you know what the most frequently asked question about tithing is? ‘Do I have to tithe on the net or on the gross?’ Translation: ‘How little can I give and not get God mad at me?’ The implied question is: ‘How much of my stuff can I keep and not get in trouble?’ This is like going to your mom on Mother’s Day and saying, ‘Mom, what’s the least amount of money I can spend on your present without severing our relationship?’
I love this! It makes me realize how ridiculous I sound when I’m wondering how much time, money or effort I should be putting forth to help others. The act of giving truly shows my confidence that God is in charge and will provide for my needs.
The consequences of not giving of my talents, my money and my time are plentiful.
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2Corinthians 9:6
So, as you file your documents today with the IRS remember that God has given you everything you have and He is the Almighty Provider.
Plus, money doesn’t make us rich. A relationship with Jesus Christ does.
Aren’t you glad Tax Day is almost over for 2012?!?!?!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 3:27 – Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.