Taxes, Respect and Honor - Michael Ledbetter

Taxes, Respect and Honor

 

As we approach April 15th (April 18th this year), we moan about tax season, about the lack of control we have over such a large portion of our paychecks.  We search for those few extra deductions and cross our fingers hoping maybe we’ve paid too much already and will get a refund!       

We all know the situation in Mark 12 when a few Pharisees tried to trap Jesus and hoped he would not support paying taxes to Caesar, but, because Jesus knew their real intent and because Jesus is always faithful, he said the famous words “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.”

As we live in this world we have a responsibility to the society in which we live.  In John 17 as Jesus prays, he reveals that while we are not to be “of” this world, we are certainly “in” this world, and not only “in” but “sent” into the world.  Paul stresses it also in Romans 13 as he teaches that we are to “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

Let’s allow tax time this year be a reminder that as we are sent into the world to do HIS work. We owe taxes, respect and honor to whom those are all due. So how do we show our proper respect and honor in our society today, in addition to paying taxes?  How do we fulfill God’s mission in the world, being His messengers as we make our way through this physical life?  Based on the roles that we each take on, how do we fulfill these roles in a manner that shows honor and respect while reflecting our desire for our eternal home?

As an employee or employer:  Most of us will spend the majority of our lives working in some capacity, as an employee, as a co-worker, and maybe sometimes as a leader or manager. How do we treat those who work for us, with us and above us? Do we honor and respect our coworkers and clients?  Does our work ethic, our integrity, our commitment to quality and excellence demonstrate whose we are? 

As a husband, wife, parent, or child:  Do we fulfill our role in the family while honoring each member and role in our family?  As you interact with your neighbors, do your neighbors see something that looks a little different.  Are you, husbands, earning the respect of your wives, and, wives, are you earning the honor of your husbands?  Are you, children, respecting the guidance of your parents? Does your relationship with your parents feel just a little different than what your friends are experiencing?  Are honor and respect a trait of your family that your neighbors notice?    

Yes, it is tax time, but more importantly, it is time to fulfill our mission in this world.  Show honor and respect as you set yourself apart.  

 

I am praying that you will join us on Sunday nights as we continue to study Paul’s prison letters.

 

 

 

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