He (Jesus) saw through their (the spies) duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. (Luke 20:23-26)
My sister, Pam, was a caregiver to an Amish boy and became close friends with his mother. They bred and killed animals for meat, and the husband slit the throat of an animal to shock her. Most would rather not think about the process of getting meat to the market but are fascinated by a culture which lives in God’s world and not our own. My sister can attest the Amish have desires similar to our own.
Early history found humans in farming communities, building basic shelters and trading the necessities of life. Since humans aren’t satisfied with necessities, we need money. As society has progressed, roads are necessary, communities don’t care for the handicapped and lazy, people think they have rights that are not God-given, and more people commit crimes. Therefore, we need government.
Money and government are part of the world. Jesus didn’t carry money and wasn’t influenced by government. When he was required to pay taxes, he told Peter to catch a fish. The fish had enough money in its mouth to pay Peter’s and Jesus’ taxes. Jesus knew as humans evolved, they would need government. He used roads for traveling so had no problem giving Caesar taxes to maintain the roads and temple. Therefore, he tells us to pay our taxes but also reminds the Pharisees, Romans, and us to give our hearts to God.
The eighth step in leaving a bad habit or trait at the cross is to give your heart to God.
Dearest Father in Heaven, I praise your name for You turn my mourning into dancing. Forgive my wrongs. Take my heart and change it to hold more faith and love and less anger and worry. Show me Your refuge. Confirm what habit or trait you want me to leave at the cross. Help me love those you’ve given me so they grow in Your will. Continue reminding me I’m Your disciple. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.