Does Respect Equal Responsibility?

That dreaded day of the year came last week. Many were lined up at the post office or stuck online waiting for their return to go through cyber space. Filling out the forms online can be challenging if you don’t know what they are asking as you go through the form. Once the form is filled out and you send it either via mail or cyber submission there is always the possibility of REJECTION of the form. It seems every time I have filled out these forms over the internet there has always been a follow-up rejection email. No matter how scrupulously I go over these returns there is always an error either great or small. My error this year for our return was so easy and showed me how simple it is to look over even the most basic of details.

This is the first year that two of my girls had to fill out their tax forms. It was one of our “Bucket List” check-offs. They had to sign into the program and make up their own login and passwords and then fill in the blanks for their wages, medicare tax withheld, and state income tax withheld. Realizing that they are paying into medicare at such a young age and wondering what would be available for them when they get to that age caused us to stop and think about what the future might hold for them. It definitely makes us realize how much everything “rises and falls on leadership.”

The conclusion of this story is that even the basic things in life need to be learned at a young age, even the importance of our obligation to the government. Jesus even reminded us to “Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto God the things that are Gods.” (Mark 12:17). God taught us the importance of rules, laws, and government in our lives. We may not like those in authority over us, but we are to show them respect and honor because of their position. We see this in the life of David and his high honor and respect for the role of king. Saul was a very difficult man in David’s life. Saul took David’s wife, hunted for David, and tried to kill David. Yet, no matter the risk or the opportunity, David always showed respect for the crown, no matter the person that was wearing it. Saul did not deserve David’s respect, yet David never showed Saul disrespect. Even after Saul was killed, David showed this man respect because he was the king.

Respect for authority is dwindling today. It may be true that those in authority don’t deserve our respect, but their position deserves our respect. If there was more respect would there be a greater sense of responsibility by our leadership. More respect = more responsibility. A point to ponder just because we need to do our taxes. I wonder…

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