I want you to hold the following two statements in your head at the same time because they are both true.
I hate paying taxes.
I am privileged to pay taxes.
Hopefully, keeping those two statements in your head has not caused it to explode! My guess is that you completely understand the first statement and might be at least mildly confused by the second.
Let me explain. I vaguely remember getting my first real paycheck and noticing that the math didn’t work. Hours worked multiplied by $2.25 an hour should have equaled a bigger number than was indicated on my check. Now I knew about taxes, but, what on earth was FICA and why were they taking money out of my check!
Like most folks I don’t generally like paying taxes, ok, I used the word hate, it’s true. But as I have grown and learned, I understand that those funds don’t just go into a hole in Washington D.C. despite what some might have you believe. They go to support a wide range of programs and organizations that are vital to living life! They pay for roads, and education, for science and art, for war and peace… taxes are not simple. Do I agree with all of the things my taxes are used for, good heavens no. But it is my guess my neighbor feels the same way but about different things. Do I think it is all spent well and the government in all its forms is always a good steward of my taxes, again, no, but most often these situations get found out eventually and amends made if possible.
My point is this, my taxes are not about me, but my taxes are in some ways for every citizen and visitor to this country. I am privileged to be able to pay taxes, I earn enough to share, and while I’d always love to keep more, I do ok, and I am rather fond of things like air traffic controllers, and safe food to name a few things my taxes help provide.
Here is the deal, I think when Jesus said to render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasars and unto God the things that are God’s, he had a smirk on his face. Sure things like taxes found their way back to Rome, but those are temporary. Remember the old saying goes “the only sure things in life are death and taxes?” In Christ, that saying is not really true. Yes, we still pay taxes, we deal with governments, good and bad, but, in the end, death doesn’t have the final word, for all, including those things that were Ceasars, are God’s for he created them.
I am sure I will grumble when I fill out this year’s taxes, I always do, but God has given me the means to pay them, and better yet, the means to enjoy life now and forever tax-free in Christ.