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Faith and Taxes

Filling out paperwork with God in mind.

Filling out tax paperwork with a calm spirit.

It was a paper and spreadsheet-filled week here. There were 26 pages of college financial aid forms to get done, and taxes to be readied, and barely-adult children to coach through their own taxes. This is not my thing. This is so, so not my thing. But it’s what adults do, so that’s what I did, as efficiently and accurately as possible.

Figuring out how to grind through unpleasant tasks without derailing my intention to live in Christian charity is a major challenge. I’m not sure when I realized that just enduring stress is not enough. It was probably related to some occasion (there were many) when my irritation sparked a less-than-admirable outburst toward one of my offspring.

Jesus didn’t include a caveat in his command to love one another as He loves us; there’s no parenthetical phrase adding “except when something is stressful.” In a way that complicates things, but in a way it makes them easier. It redefines the task in front of me from “doing taxes” to “doing taxes without acting feral.” And with a clearer goal, one that encompasses both the task and my commitment to God, I’m far more likely to succeed. 

The good news is that Caesar was overpaid this year, so he will be rendering a bit back to us. The better news is that the process of calculating what needed rendering was completed without major sin. And now, on to dealing with my teens’ messy rooms…in a God-honoring manner.

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