The following was written by Ron Blue, the Founder of Ronald Blue Trust, Kingdom Advisors, The Ron Blue Institute, and the author of “Master Your Money” and 20 books on biblically-based finances.
The Bible is pretty clear on paying taxes — “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Most of us grudgingly agree and pay what we owe. However, there is an even better way to think about paying your taxes that results in a lot more joy.
With April tax season upon us, we’ve got you covered on all the new tax laws, but more importantly, with over 40 years of serving clients through our biblically-based wealth management services, we have developed a way to think about your taxes and finances that brings peace and fulfillment.
There is a lot said about money in the Bible. In fact, there’s over 2,300 verses dealing with money and money management. The extraordinary wisdom about money in the Bible is what led us to create a company that would combine this wisdom with technical expertise and a special focus on giving. Most of us assume that more money for ourselves is always the best outcome. However, that may not always be the case.
I’ve worked with a lot of wealthy people over the last 40 years, and one of the things I’ve observed is what I call “the paradox of prosperity,” which is that the more you have, the more choices you have, and therefore, the more confusing life becomes. This is why Ronald Blue Trust exists — to help you work through confusing times like tax season with clarity and confidence.
Let me be clear… I am not saying that having more money is a bad thing. What I am saying is that if you believe in the “American Dream” (the more money you acquire or keep, the happier you’ll be, and the more free you’ll be), this is not really true. What you own ends up owning you. It can make you feel less free than when you didn’t have as much. It’s okay to have a lot of money, but it’s not okay for money to determine your values.
A better way to look at money is as a blessing or gift from God. Just as God gives us good gifts, we should in turn give good gifts to others. We should view everything we have as owned by God and give it freely to help serve His mission. This mindset lets us be free to live our values every day.
How does this relate to taxes? Taxes represent God’s provision. If God wasn’t providing income, you wouldn’t be paying taxes. Therefore, you should plan wisely for taxes, but you should pay your taxes with gratitude as a reminder of God’s provision.
It may sound strange to think of paying taxes as a joyful thing, but that’s the way it can be if you believe that everything you have is truly a gift from God.
I have several questions that I ask clients to answer when helping them with their finances. The first one is always, “Who owns it?” Until you answer that question, you can never be a steward of God’s provisions.
If you own it, you can’t be a steward. When you close your fist around your wealth, you own it, or rather, it owns you. However, if God owns it, you hold your wealth with an open hand, which allows God to put in or take out whatever he wants. If you believe that God owns it, every decision that you make has a spiritual principle behind it because you’re managing God’s money.
This is why Ronald Blue Trust advisors take their jobs seriously. They are not just managing your money. They are managing God’s money.
CLICK HERE to listen to Ron Blue’s full interview on Talking Money Radio.