Death and taxes are unavoidable

Saturday, April 14, 2007

By ROB HURTGEN

Southeast Missourian

Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted from one of his letters saying, "in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."

Death and taxes are two realities that are unavoidable -- just in case you missed it, taxes are due April 17 this year. While most of us can think of 1,040 reasons not to pay taxes, it is hard think of reasons to be happy to pay taxes. Death and taxes are not simply physical realities of daily life but spiritual realities of daily living.

The spiritual reality of taxes is that paying them honors God. The first several verses of Romans 13 speaks on God, the government and taxes. The instruction is to pay your taxes because those who paid taxes are serving God.

The tax you pay on gas, groceries and everything in between translates into a spiritual reality of prospering the will of God. The programs generated from our taxes and those who are paid from our taxes are serving God in what they do. While at times we may not agree with who is in leadership and what they are doing, they exist to demonstrate an authority granted from the Lord.

Death is more certain than ever-changing tax rates. A casual observance of life reveals death awaits us all. This April 15, or 17, prayerfully view your tax preparation as an opportunity to not only take stock in your finances but in your life. Complete the 1040 form of your life. Do you know who God created you to be? Have you taken for granted the blessings that he has given you? Where are you in your relationship with him?

God has created each of us to be in relationship with him. Tax day is a reminder of the unknown deadline of death that awaits us all. The mist that is our life is not even a drip in the realm of eternity. While it is uncanny that "The IRS" spells theirs, the physical and spiritual reality of death and taxes are his. Your life, your finances and your future rest in his hands.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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