In the United States, with mid-April comes Tax Day, that dreaded time of year when we wrestle with paperwork and receipts in hopes of a lower tax bill or a larger refund. Billy Graham has addressed a number of questions concerning taxes through the years in his column My Answer. Here, he directly addresses an important question: what does God have to do with taxes?
Last year, I earned some extra money working on the side and I didn’t see any reason for paying income tax on it this year. Several friends did the same, but my wife says this was wrong in God’s eyes. What does God have to do with taxes? That’s not a spiritual issue. — R.McD.
Paying taxes might not seem like a spiritual issue to you but in reality it is, because God is concerned about every area of our lives. In other words, don’t put God in a box (so to speak) that you only bring out once a week when you go to church. God is concerned about what we do the rest of the week also!
In fact, He wants to rule every part of our lives, because He knows that if He doesn’t, we’ll only go astray and hurt ourselves. And remember: God knows all about us, including the things we think no one else knows. The Bible says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
He knows our failures and the things we’ve done wrong. The Bible is clear: “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue” (Romans 13:7). Even Jesus’ band of disciples paid taxes to the authorities (see Matthew 17:27). Our society is hurt when we fail to support our government’s services with our taxes. Do what is right and file an amended tax form. I sense, however, that you’re facing a larger issue — and that is the place God has in your life. Don’t treat Him casually, but make Christ the center and foundation of your life — beginning today.
For more from Billy Graham’s My Answer on taxes, click here.