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Render to Caesar…


John wasn’t going to tell me that we owed money for our American taxes this year. I almost wish he hadn’t let it slip. But now I know and I’ve been having to swallow my frustrations and fears as I go about the day, believing that God sees this too and our security is not based on John’s income or how much the government takes from us, but from Him.
I’ve never owed money for taxes before: we simply never earned enough. In fact, we usually got money back from the government and last year they gave us a nice sum as a result of John’s low income, schooling, and the birth of a baby. I assumed this year would be the same: we’d either get money back or at least we wouldn’t owe anything. But alas, it was not to be. We were out of the country for over six months of the year, but in it for more than three, and somehow, this is the problem. So now we owe the government about the same amount as they gave us last time on top of what John paid from his paychecks. Ironic, isn’t it? But God is my peace and He honours those who are righteous and upright. Paying our taxes is the right thing to do. Yes, we could get around it. We could give our American address implying that we’d been in the States when we were actually in India [now what would immigration say about that!?:-)]. But wouldn’t that be deception? So, we pay. And it is okay. John says we’ll be okay and I believe him.
Jesus Himself did not shirk from paying His taxes. He stated that you give the government what it requires of you and give God what HE requires of you. Tithe and tax–different things, but sometimes it is still equally hard to part with the money that we feel like we need so badly. My tendency is to live in poverty-mode. I scrimp here and squeeze there, thinking about how to save in every way possible, probably to a fault. When I found out about the money we owed I was going to cancel my upcoming train trip with the girls to go see some college friends in Birmingham, England (the Jennings for those who know them). But John keeps me from falling off the deep end of scrimping-extremisms. So I am going. And I am trusting. That is what is required of me: to live uprightly by paying those irksome taxes and to trust God–and let His priceless peace fill my heart and mind.

One Response to “Render to Caesar…”

  1. Beth
    April 16th, 2007 16:40

    Hi Rachel,

    I can appreciate where you’re coming from on this. The thing I remind myself when I’m tempted to live in ‘poverty mode’ is that He is our source and as Dave shared with someone recently, “He never lets his people get ripped off”. I remind myself of that and look back at how faithful He has been to us through the years. I’m not a spender by any means but I also don’t scrimp any more like I used to. When I look at your lives I’m always reminded that God is sooooo faithful….He even does little miracles for you and I know he will see you through this unexpected expense. God bless you and yours. Lots of love, Mum

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