Tax season is upon us, and many are eagerly anticipating their tax returns, but the process of completing taxes is not a task that holds near the excitement. Some people are upset at the amount of money that is taken out of their paychecks; others dread the time it takes to complete tax forms; and several are nervous that they will not correctly complete their taxes. I tend to fall under the categories of dreading the time and being a little nervous that I might do something wrong without knowing.
With those tendencies in mind, I am preparing to complete this process once again and reflecting on Paul’s writing in Romans 13:7 which states, “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.” Several years ago, reading this verse would have made me cringe. “How is it fair that the government can take so much of their citizens’ hard, earned money and then use it irresponsibly?” I thought.
As I have continued to study God’s word, I have realized that, most importantly, following these principles shows love and respect to our God. And secondly, I have learned more about where tax money is spent including:
Each time I read over this list, I am struck by another way my life would be different if taxes were not paid. I would not have had the same education growing up; I would not be able to use some of the transportation that I use today; and I would likely live life with a greater fear of day-to-day safety. These are just a few of the blessings that come from taxes. As you pay your taxes this year, I challenge you to purposefully pay your 2016 taxes with a joyful heart. Good luck in completing your 2016 taxes!