Tag Archives: anger

Imagine Life Without Taxes

Taxes…Ugh…

I don’t know anyone who gets super excited about tax season. Why do you think that is? Perhaps it is because we do not like having to give up that for which we have worked so hard. Maybe we do not like the government entities and policies that are funded by our taxes. Maybe we have control issues.

The scriptures are pretty clear that tax season shouldn’t be evaded through underhanded means. We have loopholes to utilize, but we should not break the law. We must pay our taxes if we are to be followers of Christ (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:7).

Imagine what life would be like without the government to whom the money is paid? No infrastructure. No laws. No enforcement of law. No justice. Chaos would rule, and everyone would do as he or she saw fit.

This would not be the country in which I would want to live.

We often feel frustrated at tax season, however, because we feel less free…less “in control” of our situation. But how “in control” are we ever?

We do not control the number of our days or when the span of them begins and ends. We cannot control unforeseen circumstances of generations of sinfulness. We cannot control others. There are many times throughout each of our days when we are not in control.

Instead of struggling against our lack of control, what would happen if we surrendered? I’m not suggesting we give up on life.

I’m talking about surrendering our need for control to the One who is truly in control and has our best interests in mind. God, the father.

AA talks about the need to surrender in order to find freedom from addiction. Other organizations helping people overcome habits and hang-ups do the same. It’s a healing process to release our need for control over situations and people.

When we release our need for control, then we can adapt to situations better. We do not worry so much. Anger isn’t as prevalent in our lives. We become happier people who joyfully influence those around us by attitudes of contentment.

When we learn contentment, we find joy and peace and true love.

Surrendering our will, our need for control, frees us from whatever expectations we place on our lives and the people around us. Do you nitpick others? Instead, appreciate them and be content with them in your life. Do you grumble about your situation? Accept the goodness and release the need for criticism. Do you hate tax season? When you release the need for control, it can open you up to be able to find the good in the things you once hated.

This tax season, may you surrender your need for control and find contentment in the presence of your Father, who is the only One who has the right to be in control.


You Get What You Ask For

Be careful what you pray for. You might just get it. 

When we pray, we are encouraged to pray for what we want and to be willing to follow the will of God whatever the outcome. But what if the will of God isn’t what He gives us? What if He gives us what we wanted even if that means he has to work a different outcome?

God had a plan for Israel, but they wanted a king, so he gave them one. It wasn’t exactly pleasant for the Israelites, but they got what they wanted, and eventually God worked out His will for them anyway. 

We just voted in a new president. Many churches prayed for the outcome of his election. Many Christians prayed specifically for Trump to win, but is that what the church needed? 

The American church is weak. The American church largely functions like a 40 year old bible nerd that still lives in his mom’s basement. 

Where is evangelism? Where are wonderful works of the Holy Spirit? Where are those strong in the faith who are able to speak truth without fear of their fellow man? Where are the “greater things than these” that Jesus promised we’d do?

Yes, there are preachers and some Christians who function this way, but this is not the norm. 

If the American church functions largely to put on Sunday morning bible classes and worship assemblies, then she has missed the call of the New Testament. 

The American church is full of people who claim to be Christians but don’t even know what Christ said about how to live. They look just like the world and cower at the concept of being blunt enough to tell others about the dangers of sin and the need for a savior. They don’t want to be seen as religious “nuts” and work hard to be cool according to the world’s standards. 

When has the church been strong? The church was strong under the persecution of the Jews, Pagans, and Romans in the first three centuries. The church is still strong in places where persecution is more than just a hateful glance or derogatory comment. The church is strong where there are threats of prison and death. 

Why? Because if you’re still going to choose the way of Christ in such circumstances, you’re going to have to be truly filled with faith and the Holy Spirit. There are no partial Christians in places like that. There are no “Sunday morning only” Christians in that culture. 

Perhaps what the American church needs is some persecution. Maybe she needs to lose some of her rights in this nation. Maybe her members need to be threatened in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. God has done it before. One day, He will do it again. 

I pray for President-Elect Trump and his staff. I pray for our nation. I pray especially for the church – that she begins to pray prayers more like Acts 4 – prayers of boldness and not protection; prayers of courage in the Spirit of Christ.

It’s well past time for Christians in this nation to come back to the Christ they claim with their lips but deny with their lifestyle. It’s time for the church to be a bastion of love in a world gone mad with fear and hatred. It’s time for the church to stop being “of convenience” and start being actually “of Christ”. 

What are you going to do to help the church be what Jesus calls her to be? Change starts with me, and it starts with you. 


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