Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ownership

At Easter and Halloween, my husband likes to exercise what he calls "the Daddy Tax."  This tax allows him to have some candy from their stash, which never makes them happy.  In fact, it is kind of fun to watch them pull out the candy they don't like and offer it to him as their Daddy Tax payment.  He usually rejects their offer and takes what he wants.  Does this seem unfair to you?  Well, consider that they often end up with so much candy that there is no way they will be able to consume it all anyway.  Also consider that he really is only taking a few pieces from each one and in comparison to the amount that they possess he is hardly making a dent in their supply.  And one more consideration...the fact that he loves them deeply and will do whatever he can to provide for their needs.  As parents, we have a different perspective, don't we?  We can see that something that feels huge to a child really isn't that big.  But now consider how our perspective differs from God's.  With that in mind, please read Matthew 22:15-22.

In these verses, we see that the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus by asking Him about the Imperial tax.  Jesus understood what was in their hearts and basically told them to pay their taxes and give their tithe to God.  None of us like to pay taxes, but we have to - it is the law.  We complain about the taxes, but we also benefit from the services from the government that the taxes provide.  Should there be better accountability with tax payer accounts?  Absolutely!  But that doesn't mean we should evade paying taxes.  But, Jesus didn't stop there...He reminded them that they needed to give back to God what is His (our tithe).  I love the words He used - give "to God what is God's."  This is a good reminder for all of us.  Who is the owner?

We are told in the Bible that everything in the world is God's: "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty.  Everything in the heavens and on the earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom.  We adore you as the One who is over all things."  (I Chronicles 29:11, NLT).  If we can remember that everything we have is really God's, then we will not struggle so much when it is time to give to God.  If we could look at everything we have as a gift from God, then we can give to Him with joy.  I guess even paying our taxes won't feel quite so bad!

Who owns your things?

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