Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
I must tell you that since returning from Haiti a few days ago, I am once again thinking about how rich we who live in the US are compared to those living in third world countries. The poorest among us receive food stamps, medical assistance, welfare, job training, etc. These so-called social programs were initially intended to provide a safety net for families who fall on hard times, to give them a hand up. Unfortunately, too many in our country take advantage of these programs as a way of life and made themselves dependent upon these government programs, which necessitates our taxes continuing to rise. Instead of a hand up, they have conditioned to expect a hand-out.
When I was a child, there was a window of time when we ate welfare rice, butter, cheese, and peanut butter. And we were thankful for it. But my mom hated “to take a handout,” so she continued to work hard to better her situation so that she could provide for her children without being a burden on others. To this day I admire her work ethic. I learned much from her example.
Today, as I consider my own tax responsibility, I am both frustrated and thankful. I am angry and frustrated that our government is so irresponsible with the taxes I pay, and yet they keep taking more.
I am amazed at how much I have. The average Haitian lives day to day, working for today’s food for their family. They will work today to bring water into their home – carried in buckets by hand across some distance -rather than through the convenience of piping it into their homes. I walk into the bathroom, turn on a faucet and let the water run while I brush my teeth. I go Sam’s and by a month’s worth of meat. I am blessed beyond the wildest dreams of many on this planet.
And God will require an accounting for what I have received. I am a debtor to the rest of the world because I have been blessed. I am reminded of the Word of God that says:
1Jn 3:17-18 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (18) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.