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ON CHRISTIANITY

Posted: March 14, 2014 at 2:19 a.m.

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I was disturbed by what you wrote a few weeks ago about not cheating on our taxes. I agree we have a responsibility to pay taxes and all that, but as far as I’m concerned, the government is just going to waste our money anyway, so what difference does it make if I cheat a little bit?

  • K.G.

DEAR K.G .:Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if everyone had your attitude? Over time, tax revenues would go down, and even essential services would have to be cut. Eventually, taxes would have to be raised to make up for the lost revenue.

But the main reason the Bible commands us not to cheat on our taxes is because God wants us to be honest and aboveboard in everything we do. If you cheated someone out of what you owed them, you’d rightly be branded a thief. Why is it any different if you owe money to a company or to the government?

Jesus paid the taxes He owed; why should we do any less? When asked if He intended to pay a certain tax, Jesus immediately handed over the required coin (taken miraculously from a fish caught by one of His disciples). He knew it might be wasted or used in wrong ways, but that didn’t keep Him from fulfilling His obligation. He said, “Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours” (Matthew 17:27).

I can’t help but wonder if the real issue you face isn’t simply taxes, but your whole attitude toward money - and toward God. Don’t let greed, or cynicism, or anything else rule your life. Instead, submit your life to Christ, who alone is worthy of your allegiance.

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org

MovieStyle, Pages 36 on 03/14/2014

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