This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, March 14, 2022
Today, I want to introduce you to two English words that are very different from each other, although we often confuse them for meaning the same thing. The reason that we confuse these two words is because they often lead to the same ending. The two words I would like to discuss with you today are Give and Take.
We think these two words have identical meaning because they result in the same outcome; both words describe something of mine becoming something of yours. The two ways that something of mine can become something of yours is: either I give it to you, or you take it from me.
You are all familiar with my car, the most recognizable car in St Marys, the Beetle. It always cracks me up that when I go someplace, say in Kroger, people are snapping pictures of it and sending it to me. If you ever see the Beetle anywhere, snap a picture and text it to me. It always makes me laugh.
I have great affection for my 22 year old buddy, so it would literally take an act of God to convince me to give you my car. I am not going to give it to you unless God, Himself, makes this request. That means the only way you are going to take possession of my car is if you take it from me. FYI, you will have an incredible fight on your hands to pull that off.
This is the big difference between giving and taking. If I decide to give you something, it gives me great joy to hand it over. It is a blessing to me for being able to give something to you. On the other hand, if you take it from me, I am going to be angry. (I say I will be angry because this is a family newspaper, and I can’t use the actual word I would feel.)
What got me thinking about this is a review of my finances. Two of the largest payments I make every month are the IRS, and tithes and offerings to Wayne Street. I wish I could give more to Wayne Street than I do to the IRS. But when the IRS gets over 40% of my income, I can’t give Wayne Street 41% and still keep gas in the Beetle, so I must settle with the 25% I give now.
Giving to Wayne Street is an absolute joy to me. I give those offerings in a lump sum every month and I look forward to the beginning of the month so that I can give again. It pleases my heart to invest in what Wayne Street is doing, and it is my favorite use of my income. I give this offering to build God’s Kingdom, and it is more of a blessing to me than it is to the Church.
I do not feel this way about the money that the IRS takes from me. I am all for a strong military, accessible public servants, and many of the Federal programs. However, our government has not had a balanced budget since 2001. Our national debt is $23,300,000,000,000 and it is growing daily. The government takes over 40% of my income and, depending on what deductions you have, 30-40% of your income as well, and we are still falling behind.
And don’t get me started on some of the programs that money taken from us goes to support.
The bottom line is, I do not feel any sense of blessing when that money is taken from me. Paying my taxes is a painful experience. Truth be told, I am bitter about how much is taken from me only to be accused of not paying my fair share. It is true, I am not paying my fair share, I am paying much more.
That is the difference between give and take. When you give something to someone or some organization, it creates a blessing in your life. You feel good about it to be able to support someone or something that you believe in. When something is taken from you, and you have no say in it, bitterness is the only result.