It’s my favorite time of year again – TAX TIME!
Yes, we have a CPA who puts all our information together for us in a nice, digitally acceptable form. He answers any questions we have. And I’m grateful for that. But the last time I checked, he does NOT come to the house and find all the stuff.
Several years ago, "The Hub" convinced me to get a filing cabinet…and actually use it. (If you remember, he’s the garage-cleaning, put away your stuff, hang up your clothes neatnik that I live with…)
It’s been a lifesaver – really.
But, there’s still a year’s-worth of stuff to dig out.
And then there’s the compiling, and writing, and adding, and subtracting (a lot of that going on these days) – all to make a nice, neat little pile for our CPA.
I hate it.
So, I’ve procrastinated just as long as I possibly can without losing any more sleep.
This weekend it was TIME.
So, like a beleaguered hound dog (not a blissfully happy beagle, mind you) – I slunk into the other room – the CABINET chambers – and started the work.
Drudgery – thy name is me.
"The Hub" was helpful. He brought me something to eat and drink from time to time. He reminded me to go to the bathroom. He said a very nice "Good night" to the top of my head last night…
And finally, late Sunday afternoon, I’m done – I think.
Only one more last-second "checking" mission – just to make sure I’ve got everything in its right place.
Because, you see, from my earliest memory my dad has struck fear into my heart about the IRS.
I think it stands for I REALLY SEE [you] –
So, I’m meticulously honest. Not just out of fear, but because it’s the right thing to do…(OK, it’s a little fear, just sayin’).
As I finished, I was reminded of a confrontation that took place between Jesus and some people sent out by the Pharisees. Their intention was to trap Him…
But Jesus is so very clever.
"Teacher," they said, "we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
Oh, so very sly.
Butter Jesus up with some compliments, while hiding the knife behind your back…
But Jesus knew their evil motives.
You see, the Jews were required to pay taxes to support the Roman government. They hated this, because the money went directly into Caesar’s treasury. So, if Jesus said they should pay taxes, He could be called a traitor to their nation and their religion. If He said they should not, He could be reported to the Roman government as a rebel.
Catch-22…unless you’re Jesus.
"You hypocrites!" He said. "Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax…Whose picture and title is stamped on it?"
"Caesar’s," they replied.
"Well, then," He said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."
I wonder what Matthew, the former tax collector, thought of this little exchange!
Jesus made the wonderful point that we have dual citizenship. Our citizenship in our nation requires that we pay taxes – whether we like it or not, I might add! However, as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we must pledge our ultimate obedience and commitment to God.
So, I must render unto Caesar what is due Caesar.
It is because of my citizenship in God’s Kingdom, because of my obedience to God, that I do this. Because He has called me to righteousness, and honesty, and integrity, and humility. He has called me to do the right thing, even when it hurts…
But, always and forever, my ultimate allegiance belongs to Him.
Have you done your taxes yet?!?
P.S. Um, God? It’s OK if You want to send a refund my way…
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"