“Taxes Due: April 15th”
If you haven't already filed your taxes by the date of this edition of The Supplier, you may very well be panicking! Federal law states that taxes not filed by April 15th will be considered late and are subject to significant financial penalties. For taxpayers receiving refunds, filing as early as possible made perfect sense. But for those who owe money, waiting until the last minute is more "desirable." Regardless of your individual situation, there are three important spiritual lessons that "Tax Day" teaches us.
First, though paying taxes may not be the most "fun" thing to do, it is something that we are commanded to do. Governments are in place to create laws that are designed to make societies function more fairly and effectively. And, while no one government is perfect, we must remember that God is the One who has allowed such powers to exist and has commanded us to be subject to our leaders (Romans 13:1). Later in his same letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul wrote that those things which are "due" to leaders are to be paid, including taxes (Romans 13:7). Of course, what Paul wrote was in absolute harmony with the teachings of Christ who famously responded to the Pharisees that it was not only "okay" but indeed lawful and necessary to, "Render... to Caesar the things that are Caesar's," including the taxes due to His government (Luke 20:25).
Second, as everyone is subject to paying taxes, so is everyone subject to the Lord. While there are some exceptions for people with limited income, virtually everyone has to file their taxes by midnight on the 15th. This fact is reminiscent to the words of Paul who reminds us that, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10). We are each responsible for ourselves and we will each be accountable to our Lord for the way that we have lived. As Solomon said, "God will bring every work into judgment" (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Knowing this, let us be diligent to always be prepared!
Finally, "Tax Day" reminds us of the fact that, one day, it will be too late. Sure, a person can file taxes on April 16th, but there will be a penalty. And when that penalty is assessed, the taxpayer won't be able to call the IRS and say, it was only a single day late, can't you make an exception for me? In Luke 16, Jesus tells of the rich man who, after he died, wanted to make sure his family knew about the danger of torment that results from sinful living. Of course, as Jesus explains, making changes after death is not an option. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that after death comes judgment, not additional opportunities to change. If nothing else, filing taxes in April should serve as a reminder of the need to render obedience to God today and not put off until tomorrow the types of decisions that truly have eternal consequences. Let's not be late when it comes to doing right and to helping others do the same!