Financial Stewardship Means Paying What Is Due
Abraham lived among the Hittites. When Sarah died, he needed to buy a burial site for her. The Hittites offered Abraham the choice of any land he wanted. He chose a cave on Ephron's land.
Genesis 23:9b is Abraham's request of the Hittites. He wanted the Hittites to assist him in getting Ephron to agree to his purchasing part of his land for the burial site.
In later verses, we see that Ephron had no problem with Abraham using the land for a burial site. In fact, he was willing to give Abraham the land for free. However, Abraham wanted to pay full price for the land.
We all seek handouts and freebies
While we may now blame it on the economy, we all seem to be on the lookout for handouts and freebies. Anything we are able to get for free, or for less than the asking price, is somehow more enjoyable.
The truth that we tend to ignore is that it costs someone somewhere. If we think that a large corporation is eating that cost, we must remember that they will still end up trickling that cost back down to us as purchasers of their other goods and services. So is it really free or discounted?
We can also look at our approach to filing our income taxes. Are we dishonest when it comes to the things we claim on our returns? Do we try to deduct more than we are truly able? Do we claim dependents that we don't actually care for?
Look at the other side
What about when we are on the other side of the situation? What if someone expected us to give away our goods or services for free or for less than we feel they are worth? Would we be as willing to do that?
This is not to say that we should never volunteer time or make donations to those less fortunate. We are simply talking about people trying to talk us into reducing our prices or giving things away.
We work to provide for ourselves and our families. If we discounted everything or gave it away, we would never be able to make enough to support our families.
When we are in business, we should offer our goods and services at reasonable rates so that people are less interested in seeking discounts and freebies. It will make people more wiling to do business with us.
At the same time, as a consumer, being willing to pay an honest price ensures that everyone is able to provide for their households.
With respect to our tax returns, Jesus told us in Matthew 22:21, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." As a part of several communities, we have a responsibility to help support them. Our taxes are used to develop services that we may use. They also help support those who are less fortunate than us.
We may not always agree with the choices that the political groups make for us, but that has nothing to do with us handling our responsibilities.
Rather than thinking of self, let's all aim for making decisions that are in the best interest of the larger community.
by: Ozeme J Bonnette