Here we are again—nearing the end of tax season. For many people, these final days leading up to submitting taxes is full of angst. We look over our income and investments, consider our charitable contributions and check tax records to make sure we are getting all our possible deductions.
Tax season raises many questions for me. Did I give enough to charity this year? Is 10% of gross or net the real goal? Should I lower my standard of living and give the rest to non-profits who have real impact? Am I grateful for what taxes provide for me? Do I trust the system that operates all around me for how taxes are distributed? Are my elected officials using common sense?
For me so many questions do not have clear answers. At what point do I trust first and expect that common sense follows closely behind?
Are trust and common sense distant cousins, much like taxes and philanthropy? Is asking the right questions, at least during tax season, an opportunity to find the new normal for acknowledging God's abundance to me and thinking through best practices for supporting charities?
We know God clearly created humankind with hearts of compassion and minds for critical thinking. We are obligated by obedience to God to resolve these questions, as part of the process of God's sanctifying work in me and the world.
Tax season is complicated far beyond the question of “How much do I owe this year?” Let's continue talking, researching, voting appropriately and keeping stewardship a top value in our lives.