Why Taxes Reminded me of Church Today

Since I started going to church, I have noticed a lot of people talking about church. It’s like learning a new word. You learn it and then all of a sudden you hear EVERYONE saying it. It’s near the top of your brain so all you’re doing is noticing it now, but it seems like the whole world rises up to meet your new-vocabulary word and help you practice using it for a few weeks (which is very nice of the whole world).
Anyways, all these people going to church…sometimes it baffles me. I want to say, “You go to church?! Why?” Because they don’t seem like people who would go to church, or who act very…I dunno…”churchy”. They seem like people who act one way IN the church and a very different way OUTSIDE the church. I want to say to them, “You know God is everywhere, right? He’s not just at church. He’s ALL OF THE OTHER PLACES, TOO. Like…in EVERYTHING. He IS everything. Soooo…you know. He can SEE you when you’re not in church.”
I mean, what’s the point of being a Christian or a Jew or a Sikh or anything else if you enter your holy place of worship like the teacher can see you and then run out into the world the same way you ran behind the big tree on that playground where you KNEW the recess ladies only passed by every 15 minutes? God can see you everywhere, folks! And God doesn’t expect perfection, but He kinda expects you to try your best in everything.

taxesSo, I was sitting in my tax preparer’s office today (we’ll call her “MY PERSONAL ANGEL”) getting some notes on how to best file my taxes as a now-single woman, when suddenly I couldn’t find one of my W-2s.
“Oh my gosh! They were all in here! Where did it go?!”
“It’s fine,” MY PERSONAL ANGEL said. “I can always summon your transcripts from the IRS to get any W2s submitted for you in 2014.”
“You can?! You mean they already have all that stuff?”
“Oh sure. That’s the first thing they look at – whether the W2s you send in match the ones they have on file,” she explained to me like I’m an idiot when it comes to taxes…because I am.
“Nevermind…I just found it stuck to this other one. So they already know what I made and they’re just kinda waiting to see if I’m going to be honest?”
“Well, I mean…it’s the IRS. They’re not really waiting for anything. But if you don’t file everything you made, they’ll know it,” MY PERSONAL ANGEL explained.

And this is why my taxes reminded me of church today. Because there’s no point in going to church if your intention is only to reap the benefits of telling people you go to church. And there’s no point in telling the IRS you made less than you did if there’s any chance someone else has already reported your income. In both cases, THE BIG MAN already knows the truth. God already knows what’s in your heart, the IRS already knows what hit your bank account. There’s no point in lying. So just do your best, both on your taxes and in life. Except when you’re done with church you go to brunch…and when you’re done with taxes you drink.

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