Who’s in Charge: Pay Up

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:6-7)

“If the government is going to fund abortions and gay marriage and drug legalization, I refuse to pay my taxes. I won’t let my hard-earned money be used for sinful things.” That sounds bold, doesn’t it? That’s an act of conscience, right?

charge_350Jesus and Paul said “no.” Before being crucified by his government, Jesus said we should send the man with his picture on the money as much of it as he asks for. And Paul’s government was basically Nero, easily one of the most evil world leaders of all time. Paul could have argued that his tax dollars were being used to fund the public execution of Christians.

Instead, he echoed Jesus: Pay up. In fact, put some money in the respect and honor jars, as well—not because the person in charge deserves it, necessarily, but because God put the person in charge. It’s another way that God’s people show we believe he knows what he’s doing—and our home is in another country.

Think: How hard is it for you to pay respect and honor to leaders who haven’t earned it, in your opinion? In your own words, why do you think the Bible tells us to do that?

Pray: Ask God to help you to trust him enough to pay respect, honor, and even taxes to those he has put in charge—even when you don’t think they deserve it.

Do: To start a conversation about this, ask another Christian how they feel about paying taxes even when they don’t agree with how the government spends the money.