Three Things for Certain: Death, Taxes, and Giving

by Joanna Pierce on April 13, 2016

Offices across the nation are littered with stacks of file folders teetering like the Tower of Pisa. The drone of calculator clicks and pages running through inkjet printers hum continuously in the background. Blood pressure readings have begun to steadily increase to unhealthy levels. Take a moment now, breathe deep, and notice the smell that’s in the air. It’s tax time.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” One of those certainties, one is dawning in just two days.

We are given direction regarding our taxes in Scripture:

For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute it due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour (Romans 13:6–7, KJV)

Translation for today? We need to pay our taxes. As much as we loathe seeing money slip through our fingers, God is very specific on this point. Jesus even set the example for paying taxes in the New Testament. He said:

…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are Gods (Matthew 22:21, KJV).

Every year we’re forced to follow God’s direction in paying taxes. If we don’t, the government will find us. And, if they don’t, God will. But, as food for thought today, I wonder how many of us actually pay attention to the second half of Matthew 22:21. Do we render unto God the things that are His?

What belongs to God? If you don’t know, that’s okay, but I’ll give you the answer here. Everything. Scripture tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1, KJV). Everything we think we “have” in life is really God’s. He’s just letting us take care of it. We’re a steward of His stuff.

So how do we give back (render) to God the things that are already His? That’s easy—let go when He asks for it. My Pastor taught our church recently about the importance of returning the tithe back to God. We return to God 10% of our income (which is a command), and then He allows us to manage the 90%.

We can’t cling to the 90% like it’s going out of style. God may call upon us to give back to Him what He’s given to us. And, as my Pastor so insightfully noted, we should view this transaction of giving back to God as a blessing: we are given the opportunity to have money pass through our hands and given to whom God has it intended for—God has used us as a channel to bless someone else and to carry out His work.

If the government isn’t holding our feet to the fire, do we actually give? If our Pastor isn’t harping on us in every sermon, can we actually be accountable to God for what He’s asked us to do?

While we don’t have a date on the calendar each year to ensure we readily follow God’s Word, let’s pray, self-reflect, and allow God to teach us how to give back to Him. Let’s realize today that while death and taxes are certainties in this life, so is giving. And, when we abide by God’s Word, He’ll bless us for it. That, my friend, is a certainty in itself…