The Beatles wrote a song about this guy.
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.
Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more.
Ha! Pop music remains popular because it gives expression to the frustrations, desires, and feelings of the common man. Only three or four things set my teeth on edge and rob me of sleep. Waiting for the results of a medical test, facing a building inspection (any inspector worth his salt is always able flag one or two violations of some obscure code), traveling in severe weather conditions, and waiting for our accountant to complete our tax returns. Click here to listen to their song on the subject.
It’s tax time again, and I feel your pain. I don’t mind paying my share, but I can’t escape the feeling that I’m the pivot bearing the weight of those to my right and to my left. The impoverished on my left are mostly protected from taxation on the premise, “You can’t get blood from a turnip.” Those to my right, on the wealthier end of the spectrum, are secure in countless loopholes and legal maneuvers that insulated them from being taxed at the percentage I must endure.
The tax man cometh. It’s crying time again, you’re gonna fleece me.
God is not opposed taxation. Jesus paid taxes and told us to, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars.” And, if the truth be known, He would tell me to quit comparing myself to others and live my own life.
So much harm is self-inflicted by those of us who compare our lives to others. A friend of mine calls “fairness” the “F-word,” and it was never allowed to be spoken in his house. If one child compared their punishment or privileges to another, it was grounds for “time-out.” He’s on to something.
After His resurrection, Jesus took a long walk on the beach with Peter. He began to reveal to Peter the hardships that awaited him as a disciple of Christ. It made Peter uncomfortable, so much so he turned towards John and said, “What about him?” Jesus’ reply was quick and to the point. “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21)
What God has allowed us to suffer, or the favors God has done in the lives of someone else, is really none of our business. He is a loving Father that knows what is best for each of His children. Blessings that one might handle well could destroy another. Hardships that some endure would crush a different person. Father knows best.
There are two things you know for sure about God. He loves you more than you can put into words. He sent His only begotten son to die for you and will never leave you nor desert you in your time of need. Secondly, He alone possesses all the power in heaven and on earth. These combined elements of love and resource are all we need to face today and be confident about tomorrow. No matter how bad it is now, it won’t last. No matter how good it is, it will get better. I’m secure in my relationship with God.
They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes. From experience I can testify on the subject of taxes, but as for death; I’m taking a wait-and-see approach. Happy tax season everyone.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.”
- Why do we pay taxes? Is that important?
- Are you ever troubled about “fairness” in life? Do you suffer from comparison to others?
- In what way are you privileged more than most?
When you consider your status in life do you:
A.) consider yourself blessed beyond what you deserve?
B.) think you have struggled more than you deserve in life?
C.) hate paying taxes?
What's your opinion?
Take the survey and leave a comment for the benefit of others.
If you were unable to attend services last weekend and would like to listen to the message, visit our homepage at stjstl.net and click on Media at the top right of the web page. Growing Deeper, a Bible study, written to accompany the message series is also available to download.
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Lord, I am only human and to be human means I am inclined to see the downside of things as much, or more often than I see my blessings. Help me to be more grateful for all you have done. Help me to assume the mindset of Paul who was able to even “rejoice in his sufferings, knowing the suffering of the present produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” I know my hope is well placed in You in view of the suffering, death and resurrection of my Savior, Jesus. Enable me Lord to lay my burdens at your feet and move on in life knowing You will provide in ways that are best for me, Your dear child;, through Jesus, my Lord; Amen.
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Stephen Hower, Pastor