Skip to main content

The Insurmountable Tax

If doing good things for God's glory is like money, we humans seem to have been born broke. And in order to fulfill God's required tax, which is his moral law written on all our hearts compelling us to live in a sacrificial, unselfish God-honoring way, we tend to acquire money in one of two ways: by stealing or using counterfeit money.

The stealers understand their emptiness best. They know they're broke. They know they don't have it in them to serve others or give up their time or money or power willingly. And they're terrible fakers. So they go off and steal or wait around until the circumstances are just right so that they can give without really giving at all. The weather, their mood, their financial situation, their to-do list, etc, everything has to be in alignment before they can give.

These thieves can look different from one another. There are the overt thieves, such as the drunkards, prostitutes, drug-addicts, tyrants, and misers. But there are also the more subtle thieves. They usually have very good boundaries or seem reserved or they are the gregarious-go-getters. These people are like bottom-less pits because no matter how much they acquire, it doesn't seem to be enough. And they are right. It isn't.

The counterfeit-users, on the other hand, have perhaps a greater understanding of the tax itself. They know that the tax isn't a one time deal, but a demand made upon them every hour of every day. So they print their own money to pay it. They will sacrifice their time, money, sympathy, space, anything for the sake of the moral tax. And yet, the counterfeit-users have the unnerving feeling that they haven't paid the entire tax. They get this painful reminder through feeling dissatisfied with life and/or being particularly sensitive when other people fail to acknowledge the sacrifices they've made. Perhaps deep down, they realize that their money isn't acceptable. 

These counterfeit-users are the pharisees and self-sacrificial mothers. They are the people who give everything for their family or company or school or country. And they are infuriated when their efforts aren't acknowledged. Often times, they take the good regard of others as a sign that their money is real. But they can never get enough of other's good regard, so they are forever dissatisfied.

There is only one way to pay God's tax. And that is through: one, owning up to the fact that we've been stealing or using counterfeit money; two, taking the punishment for our nefarious money habits; and three, paying the insurmountable tax, which we still owe. 

In case you haven't realized. We can't do this. Only Christ can. 

Acceptance of his payment on our behalf frees up the thieves to stop accumulating for their own gain and instead to give from their abundance. Acceptance of Christ's payment also releases the counterfeit-users from the pressures of having to pay. They can relax, knowing the payment has been made. Now they can give out of joy instead of obligation.

Let me tell you, it's a pretty sweet deal!

More on how Christ does this: (Repairing Relationships) & (The High Price of Doing Good)


Popular posts from this blog

Eyes Up. Head Down.

Nose to the grindstone. Eyes on the task at hand. Administer consequences. Hold. Comfort. Listen. Teach. What if I was too harsh? What if I was too lenient? What if I ruined them? What if I repeat history? Eyes up. Up ahead. See the net of God's grace All around you, inside and out. The net to catch me, The net to catch them, Made by faith  Not my efforts But what Christ has done. Back to the grind. Stay afloat. Achieve success. Schedule. Budget. Economize. Write lists. Clean. Return calls. Catch my breath with other moms  And suddenly see a difference. One mom prays over her four each night. Another is outrageously spontaneous. That one's house is disgustingly tidy. And that one has published a book. I'm quite sure I'm not enough Not nearly as glorious or good. Head down. Eyes on my own hands. What is it to me If they march to a different beat? I must follow Christ. Nose to the grindstone To God's task for me here, And praise him who doesn't repeat. Back to jug

My Mother: A Flurry of Grand Activities!

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always been making and doing stuff. I think she must have an extra set of hands hidden somewhere because I can't for the life of me think how she got so much done on top of feeding, clothing, and bathing us four kids. There's no doubt about it. The Taylor house was a flurry of grand activities. She ran church programs, taught Women of the Word Bible studies, housed foreign exchange students, shuttled us around to friends' houses and summer sports programs, held all the major celebrations at her house, allowed us to have sleepovers (which is huge in my mind), hosted kids from the African Children's Choir to stay with us, and planned themed birthday parties where she lead all the games and baked the cake herself. Even when attending meetings and bible studies her hands were busy with one project or another. In the summer, she planned clay days and art days and museum days and theme-park days. We kids had no reason whatsoever to

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to work with them through their fights. I want them to feel and understand their emotions, But I don't want them to slam doors or cry for too long. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they're learning. I want them to choose to obey, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to creatively fill their own time, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I want to have mutually supp