Tag Archives: content

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.

Advertisements

If You Love Jesus You’ll Buy This

20131214-095201.jpg

The other day I was listening to a local Christian radio station and I heard a commercial for a “gift this Christmas”. I’m not going to tell you what it was, but the people gave all these reasons why someone should buy this item and give it to someone. Then, at the end of the commercial they said “honor The Lord by giving this gift”.

Really? Honor The Lord by buying some Christian merchandise? Shouldn’t we better honor The Lord by living our lives in service to Him and being content with what we have? Do we really need more stuff?

I see this all the time. “Christian” companies using their religious preference to get you to buy their goods. Is there such thing as a Christian company anyway? Sure, there are Christians who own companies. There are companies who deal with merchandise that promote Christian symbols and ideas. There are Christians who work for companies, but the companies themselves cannot be Christian or non-Christian.

I hear commercials by companies who have no direct tie in their business to anything specifically Christian. They aren’t selling Christian goods or teaching Christian ideals, and yet they are advertising themselves as a Christian company.

1 Timothy 6:5 gives warning that there are some who think that their godliness is a means to financial gain. He warns to watch out for these people. He says rather to find godliness with contentment.

As you live your life, don’t use your status as a Christian to manipulate or coerce people. You should gain people’s trust and friendship by the way you live. Christianity is not a badge we wear but a life we live. And if the fruit of our lives don’t match up with the faith we profess then that makes us a hypocrite, and Jesus had a lot of negative things to say about hypocrites.

We are called to be consistent in how we live. When we make a commitment to something, we follow through because we have made our “yes” as good as a promise. When we talk to people they are able to hear Jesus reflected in our speech. When we do things, whether working or playing, people are able to see that we are doing everything to the glory of God. When we run a company or work for a company we should be the most highly sought after people because of our reflection of the attitude and lifestyle of Jesus in our lives.

May you be people who reflect Jesus in everything you do. And may you be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5-6). God bless you!


A Love/Hate Relationship with Walking

20130702-142429.jpg

About a month ago I got a pretty serious infection in my foot. I had been in some nasty water and then got an ant bite. When I scratched it, infection set in and swelled my foot right up. I got to where I could feel the pain from the infection all the way up my leg and down the other leg before I got treatment. It was painful to walk. I mean REALLY painful.

Then, one day the infection came out, and oh the relief! I have never been so grateful to be able to walk in my entire life. Walking had been so difficult, and now it was easy. I actually thanked God for the ability to walk.

A few weeks ago my truck stopped working. It had been having some trouble, but it finally got to where it just wouldn’t start. I am a very mobile person with a lot to do, so this was difficult for me. I tried to ride my bike, and one day I set off to run some errands around town on my bicycle. About two-thirds of the way to my first destination my pedal came right off. The threading had stripped. I was too far away from the house to go back home right away, so I just did the errands on foot – pushing my bicycle along.

It was frustrating. I really wished I didn’t have to walk.

You ever feel this way? One day something is a blessing and the next day it is a curse. Maybe it is a job or a house or a car or even a relationship. Why is the grass always greener on the other side? Why are we so fickle? Why can’t we just be content with what we have?

We want what we do not have and do not want what we do have because satan is a liar and we buy into his lies.

God has placed you in that house or job or relationship to glorify Him. How can you do that if you are always worried about how horrible your situation is or how much better it would be if this or that was different. Husbands and wives, how can you glorify God in your relationship if you are always wishing your spouse was different rather than celebrating who God made them to be?

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said this:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Are you content with what you have? If you’re always complaining about it or wishing it was different then you aren’t. Contentment comes from know that it is God who provides, and you are under His care. Contentment is trust in your Heavenly Father to take care of you and to have provided what is best for you.

Do you trust God? Show it by being content with your life, job, house, car, income, and especially your spouse. Then you will be able to glorify Him for His innumerable blessings.


%d bloggers like this: