Saturday – Open Topic
Reading – Romans 13:1-8
“Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.”
Romans 13:6-8 NLT
I knew a guy in college who carefully planned to only make enough to owe just a few dollars in taxes just so he could refuse to pay them. He didn’t believe in what the government was doing at the time and that was his way of protesting.
I doubt that he got away with that for long.
Whether he got away with it or not, I think he missed the point.
In fact, I think I missed the point until I lumped this set of verses together like they would have originally been.
When Paul wrote this letter, he didn’t put a paragraph break, nor a section heading between verses 7 and 8.
He went straight from filling your obligation to pay taxes to your obligation to love your neighbor.
I believe he was relating the two ideas.
One way of loving your neighbor is paying your taxes so that you and your neighbor can enjoy the benefits of infrastructure, defense, law enforcement, etc..
If you haven’t yet expressed that way of loving your neighbor, don’t worry, the income tax deadline isn’t until the 18th this year.
If you have, thanks for the fire protection and all that other stuff too.
How does looking at paying taxes as loving your neighbor change your perspective on it?
Have you ever looked at withholding taxes as a means of protest?
What are some better ways to bring about change without violating tax laws?