“Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” [The religious leaders asked of Jesus].
“... give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
~Luke 20:22, 25b (NIV [adapted]).
Always one to be wary of those with duplicitous hearts, Jesus pounces on an opportunity to teach, propounding a beautiful truth that will work for us via compartmentalisation.
I truly love living a ‘double’ life. It’s not how it sounds. I love a compartmentalised life where my identity’s set in more than one ‘vital’ image of myself, and certainly not beyond my identity in God—which for everyone is sure—but one where I can act (for God) in more than one way.
Having more than one vital image of ourselves helps shore up deficits in areas of life that occasionally don’t go too well. It’s a safety we afford ourselves as we simply digress when the heat in one part of the kitchen gets a little too heavy for us.
God’s Share and Our Obedience
God owns it all anyway. But God asks that we fairly bequeath our time, effort, money and other things to their rightful earthly owners—as accorded to God’s will—never holding onto those things that are not, as a worldly fact, ours.
We are merely custodians anyway.
How fantastic it is to be released from the pressure of owning everything... anything in fact.
When we’re disposed to God, and only to the things of God, ultimately there is peace, for nothing else truly competes. Nothing can compare. Nothing can break through. But humanity’s chalice is to occasionally forget this; such is God’s grace, however, that we’ll constantly be called back to it.
God’s not one to make things more complicated than they need be. The simplicity of God is great power for us, if we’ll invest in it.
In simplicity is bliss, strength for patience, and persistence for the longer haul.
In simplicity is honesty and forthrightness. Plainness is God’s forte. How many times in the gospels is Jesus known to speak plainly? Sure, he speaks in parables, but never in ways that the hearing person cannot plainly understand, and be encouraged to further explore, for true understanding is an effort-expended and self-achieved understanding.
In simplicity, then, we can quite easily accord fairness and justice to every area of our lives, and always save for God what is always God’s.
It’s a life where we’re not getting our small things mixed up with our big things.
God owns it all in any event. Still, we will just as well need to occasionally give what is (ultimately) God’s away to those who’d blaspheme God. And we’ll do so, rightfully, in diligence and joy.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.