BY REV. DORAL PULLEY
Scripture Reference – Matt. 22:17
Jesus Christ was so fit mentally that the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests and elders of his day were not able to entangle him in their web of confusion. Since they were not able to confound him directly, they sent their representatives to ask him questions about taxes. They wanted to know if Jesus Christ and his disciples were exempt from personal taxes.
Jesus Christ demonstrated wisdom, knowledge and understanding by reminding them of the simple principle to pay people what you owe them. Give God what belongs to God. When we give our tithes and our oﬀerings, we are acknowledging God as the Source from which all our blessings ﬂow. When we pay our taxes, we are acknowledging our local, state and federal citizenship.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ does not exempt us from the natural duty of paying our bills and taking care of our ﬁnancial obligations. Every relationship has its beneﬁts and its requirements. Often, we enjoy the rewards of connection but we are not ecstatic about the responsibilities. Everything that we are a part of requires me, energy and money.
There is only one debt that we will always have and that is love (Romans 13:8). We owe all people love and respect regardless of their age, gender, race, culture, religion, socio-economic status, orientation, criminal background, educational level, family dynamic or any other seeming distinction. So let’s pay up by loving everybody and seeing them as the children of God that they are.
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity Temple of Truth Church, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.