“And they came and said to him, ‘Teacher… Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?’ … Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” (Mark 12:14, 17).
Even as a child, I thought Jesus’ response was so obvious. How dumb were those guys to think that being religious meant they had no obligation to pay taxes to the government? But when Jesus added, “…and give to God the things that are God’s,” do you think they were cut to the quick?
We are “good” about paying our taxes, but how good are we in giving back to God what is really God’s in the first place? Some might think this means to give generously to the church. Yes, but I think it is about more than giving money. We have been given talents and gifts from God; we can use them to give back to God, too. Our potential to serve God and others is limitless within God’s grace!
This message is excerpted from “’Give to God the things that are God’s’” by Kris Brugamyer from the April 15, 2013, blog of the Women of the ELCA.
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