“The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke
Every year, April 15th (April 17th this year since the 15th falls on a Sunday and the 16th, Emancipation Day, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia) is the deadline for filing income taxes. As that day looms, we become more and more skittish, especially those who have put off filing until the last minute.
We all know the stories about tax day. Many talk about the people they know who cheat on their taxes. Some brag about how they have gotten away with lying for years. With all of those stories, April 15th might well be certified as a holiday for liars.
Honesty is expected, not only in reporting taxes due, but in every aspect of our lives. Honesty should be an integral part of our lives in everything that we say and do, if for no other reason than honesty does not require any extra work or stress.
We all know what dishonesty does to us. It makes us think that others are dishonest as well. After all, if we lie about things, surely others must. At least that is what a chronically dishonest person thinks. Not only do we come to distrust others, we also stress over what version of what story we have said. When we lie, we have to remember that lie, to whom we told that lie, and under what circumstances we told that lie. Not only that, we must remember that today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and any time in the future.
It is too much work to remember one lie, let alone a multitude of lies. That is why we should simply be honest people. Oh, sure, we might have to take our lumps if we decide to be honest. But, there is a certain purification that takes place when we do. Total, open honesty makes us feel better about ourselves.
Just as we should be honest with everyone in our lives, we should be honest with God. I do not know why I should even have to say this; however, there are many people who think that they can hide their sins and failings from God.
Perhaps it began with Adam and Eve covering themselves and hiding from God when He entered Eden. We cannot hide from God. We should not hide from God. God knows all and understands all. If we go to God with a contrite spirit and ask for His forgiveness, God forgives all. So, be honest on your taxes — and with your God.
FAITH ACTION: Be honest with yourself and with God today and feel the relief that comes from doing so.