“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4
Did you know that the most hated day of the year among Americans is April 15th? Thirteen government agencies were rated with the American people as either favorable or unfavorable. At the bottom of the list was the IRS. It was the only agency where a majority of Americans, 51%, had an unfavorable view. People typically feel that the IRS takes too much of their money. In fact, 60% of Americans say that the entire tax system ought to be changed.
Let’s face it…very few people like to pay taxes. Apparently this has been true for thousands of years, because in Matthew 22:17, Jesus was asked a question about this very subject. His answer was surprising. “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” What did Jesus mean by that? Before He gave His answer, Jesus asked whose image was on the coin. There was an image on the coin of Caesar to symbolize the fact it was the government that issued the coin, and the government that developed a monetary system so people could do business. In other words, technically speaking, it was not their coin; it was the government’s coin. The coin represented all the things that government did for the people, just as it does for us today.
One thing that would be wise for us to do before we complain about taxes is to remember what our taxes pay for – water, sewage, highways, defense, the courts, the police, and the military. We need to see the government as God’s servant that protects us from our enemies and provides safety for us in our homeland so we can engage in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If the government is God’s servant and is under God’s authority, then if you cheat the government you cheat God. Just as surely as you should give your tithes to God, you should pay your taxes to the government. Do I like to pay taxes? No. But I have learned to be grateful that I have an America to pay taxes to. I don’t always agree with how the government spends our money, and yes, at times I think we are overtaxed. However, as citizens and as Christians we should pay our taxes gratefully and honestly.
Application: Do you have a God-honoring attitude about paying taxes? Think about the things you can be grateful for that these taxes provide.