Death, Taxes and New Life
The saying, that ‘nothing is certain but death and taxes’ is one of those subtle things that can influence your beliefs, your thoughts, your words, actions and ultimately your destiny. This kind of fatalistic thinking apparently has its roots in a book by Daniel Defoe called, “The Political History of the Devil” written in 1726.
The devil is behind all fear. Fear is polar-opposite to faith, sometimes defined as, “false evidence appearing real”. What we perceive to be real becomes our individual truth. But there is no such thing as one truth for you and another for me. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He also said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). This tells us that we can know Him as the truth, because if what we believe to be true, is anything other than Him, we are not free – and therefore still subject to the devil’s influence of fear.
If you base your financial decisions and actions on the false evidence that seems real given the money you can see, or think you can see, you are operating from fear, not faith. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s ok to ignore facts; it means God’s truth is the substance we make our decisions on. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). When we stand on His Word as truth, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) and make decisions about ‘facts’ we can see from the Truth, not from the ‘false evidence’ which is easily skewed when you look at money.
Financial knowledge will always be subject to missing gaps. Missing information opens the door to either faith or fear depending on what you chose to focus on. When you are strong in Truth you will be less influenced by the opinions, judgements and fears of others and the underlying beliefs like the death and taxes phrase. Walking by faith financially, however, doesn’t mean you ignore death or your responsibilities as citizens of the country you live in today. It also doesn’t mean you adopt an attitude of not wanting to know, or assuming you already know the financial outcome will be given certain ‘facts’ that you know or think you know.
Financial products like insurance are often justified away by Christians who quote scriptures for God providing all their needs. Sure, but one of the ways He provides for us in our world today is through access to products and services where we can plan and prepare, while we still live for today. You are not walking in fear if you invest in insurance, any more than you would be walking in faith if you don’t pay your taxes, jumped off a bridge expecting God to catch you, or simply decided you weren’t going to go to work because God says He’ll provide. Insurance is a fantastic financial planning vehicle with some great tax benefits – but you have to be open to seeking professional advice and learning some new perspectives on when and how and who can benefit from it.
God doesn’t want us to test Him, just like He doesn’t want us to live in fear and worry. “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus told us clearly to not worry (Matthew 6:34) just like He told us to not serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). Buying insurance for example, from a perspective of fear of not having enough is very different than taking responsibility to implement systems to support you and your family given the world we live in today.
The root of fear-based financial decision-making is the devil wanting you to think you won’t have enough, or God won’t provide and you’ll end up sick and destitute. But, “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
On the other hand, “the thief (the devil who wants you to fear all kinds of catastrophic outcomes) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus “disarmed principalities and powers (the devil and his demonic assistants), He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15) therefore, we are “alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11).
This week my family experienced a death in the family. There had been a long battle with cancer, but that doesn’t make the end any less upsetting than the tragic deaths we see in the news every day. Death brings loss to familiarity. It also brings responsibilities for dealing with the ‘stuff’ of life as well as the legalities of settling an estate – including final taxes. Routines are interrupted and the emotions of survivors are tender as memories and future hopes are processed alongside the practicalities of life.
In light of some of this, I have decided to postpone the launch of the new weekly radio show until October. You can still expect to hear from me with the online development of the Financial Grace partner community and some new programs I’ve been working on in the meantime, however.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I remain very excited about the ‘new life’ God is bringing forward with Financial Grace and know that, breakthrough to new levels of financial freedom for His people is already waiting – there’s just a ‘mustard seed sized’ shift to bring it from fear into faith!
Stay tuned…Abundant blessings,