“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”
The “things that are Caesar’s” here are objects, including money, with the image of Caesar on them.
The government prints money, so we should pay our taxes.
But what about “the things that are God’s”?
Many Christians tithe or put money in the offering plate when they go to church – though not nearly as many as should be and not giving as generously as they could.
If money bears the image of the government, is that what God really wants? What else could we render to God?
We can render our time.
How many hours do you spend each week at church, praying, or reading your Bibles? Do you tithe 10% of your time to God?
Unless you are spending an average or 16.8 hours a week or 2.4 hours each day on the Lord, then no.
We can render nature.
I come from a family of outdoorsmen and women. They spend many hours in tree stands hunting and on rivers and lakes fishing. They understand nature much better than a city slicker like myself.
Through them, I have come to understand the concept of conservationism.
Hunting and fishing helps control potential overpopulation of certain species. The fees for licenses also fund efforts to protect other species that might be endangered.
Eating meat from the wild or growing your own chickens for meat and eggs lowers the reliance on factories that pollute and keeps the cost of food from rising.
We can take care of God’s gift of nature by not polluting it. We can render nature by respecting it and being good caretakers of the environment.
We can render our lives.
This can be done, not just with the amount of time we dedicate to the Lord, but our obedience and sacrifice. We can go to locations we do not want to, like Jonah. We can take a lesser position or a pay cut in order to serve. In some countries, our missionaries risk prison or death for the Lord.
Many Christians, including myself, want to live in comfort. However, we should never feel comfortable in the world. We should be constantly convicted by the Holy Spirit to give up the comforts of this temporal life for the sake of the eternal life to come.
Consider taking a risk that might put you in danger of being uncomfortable for the sake of God Almighty.
There are other ways to render to God what is his. Of course we should tithe with Caesar’s money, because it helps our churches to perpetuate the mission of spreading the Gospel, but we should also render to God those things with His image on them – including us.