A couple of days ago Bary and I went to see a tax preparer. April 15 is always a day of mixed emotions for us. Our daughter Jordan was born on April 15, so we always have reason to celebrate. But there have been plenty of times when we met the day with a grimace, too, as we mailed off a tax payment that took a hefty bite out of our bank account.
Our tax preparer, a Christian, was a pleasant and efficient multi-tasker. He and Barry talked while he worked, chatting a little about what we were going to owe Uncle Sam, but mostly about things far more important: Barry told him about New Day Church, and he told us about the church where he worships. In between his calculations, I think all of us realized anew where mundane civil obligations end and something much bigger and all-consuming takes over. In Matthew 22:21, Jesus instructed us to “’give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s’” (NIV).
Jesus reminded us to meet our obligations, whatever they are, but to put them in their proper place. Taking a few hours to get our taxes done was necessary—and I immediately drove by the post office to mail off what we owed. But I left that place reminded that I owe God so much more. And as we discussed our mutual desires to see God glorified through our churches, Barry was eager to get on with his real job. Meeting our obligations to God is a big, all-consuming task because He deserves everything we’ve got: our money, our time, our energy, our hearts. Without a doubt, I short-change my Creator at times.
But, in truth, most of the time serving God doesn’t feel like an obligation; it’s a privilege. I know that Barry is delighted to pastor