By Graham Glover –
This post is for everyone that is legally obligated to pay taxes to their government and/or financially able of tithing to their congregation. It is also for anyone that has ever “earned” a single dollar in their life: Your money is not your own.
Every dollar you have is a gift given to you by God. So stop complaining about paying taxes and stop coming up with reasons not to tithe. It’s not your money in the first place. It’s God’s. And it’s time to stop robbing that which is His. It’s time to start giving back to Him who has given you everything that you have. And oh yeah…render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.
I know we Americans have an innate aversion to taxes. We still seem to be suffering from our hangover to a certain tea party. And I’m not sure anyone has ever liked giving more of their income back to the Lord. But the idea that our money is all our own, with the implication that every dollar we have has been earned exclusively by our work is an absurd assumption. Equally absurd is the popular notion that we have no responsibility to give back this money to those who helped us earn it, or that we who are financially able are not obligated to give to those who are incapable of sustaining theirs and their family’s life. For brevity’s sake, I won’t even begin to discuss how ridiculous and unworthy it is when we try to justify giving the smallest amounts of our income to the church.
My purpose here is not to advocate one particular tax policy over another. I suspect that debate will continue indefinitely and never find resolution. Moreover, I’m pretty sure the Almighty could care less about tax rates. Nor is my purpose to guilt anyone in to tithing a certain percentage of their income (gross or net). 10% is a nice goal, but certainly not a requirement for eternal salvation or to receive God’s grace.
Rather, my purpose is to suggest that our incessant love of money has got to stop. We Americans love money. We love having money…and lots of it. I can’t imagine many Americans saying they can have too much money. I know, money itself is not the problem. Nor are those who make a lot of money. But Americans are fixated on the idea that our money is our own. We have little interest in putting more into the society that helped make us our wealth and no interest in tithing until it financially hurts our pocketbooks. I’m certainly no saint on this topic. I’m guilty of the greed that ensnares our culture. More often than I’d like to admit, I don’t like finding ways to increase my family’s tithe. I’m part of the problem. And so are you.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), hit the nail on the head in a speech she gave in September of 2011:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I wanna be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for…You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea, God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along”.
In my continual effort stir the pot, I don’t anticipate a lot of folks liking this post. Truth be told, I don’t like it. I want to keep as much as possible of the money I earn. I want the new car and big house. I want a well stoked cabinet of bourbon and wine and a humidor with the finest cigars. I want to travel, wear nice clothes, and eat out at fine restaurants. I want these things just like you do.
And I can have them…after I give back to the society that gave me the ability to earn my paycheck and after I return to the Lord the innumerable gifts He has given me. I have a lot of work to do on the later and some campaigning to do on the former. But this truth remains:
“It’s Not Our Money.”