What is God’s?

What is God’s?

Oct 25, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich

Women’s Society





Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

— Mark12:17

Jesus has come to Jerusalem and is teaching after his palm-fronded entrance into the city. As he is walking into the temple, he is accosted by the Pharisees and then the Sadducees who are hoping to trap him into saying things that are blasphemous or seditious enough to get him arrested by the Romans and ultimately killed. So they ask him a question about paying taxes hoping he will be arrested — or at the very least turn public opinion against him. Jesus says pay your taxes — amazing everyone. But he also says give to God what is His. We can take this in the literal sense of tithing… however, I don’t believe that this statement boils down to just finance. God doesn’t ultimately want your money — He wants your heart.

God wants you to love and obey Him. In this passage, Jesus takes a coin, holds it up, says this has the image of Caesar on it (the coins were made by Caesar). How much more then does your soul belong to God — after all we are created in his image (Genesis 1:27). God’s imprint is on our very souls, on who we are, and we have a higher calling as well. Pay taxes to Caesar but give God all that you are — your heart, soul, and mind.

Jesus doesn’t say give Caesar your heart, soul, and mind. He doesn’t say give the government your heart, soul, and mind. He doesn’t say give your country your heart, soul, and mind. He says love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind just a few verses later in Mark 12:30 reiterating his words from earlier in the chapter to give to God what is his.

We can safely give God our hearts because, well, He is God. He’s holy and good and will nurture and provide. It’s safe. Blind nationalism and patriotism is not safe. Government is an earthly creation and not pure and perfect. America is a country that may have been founded on godly premise, but it is still an imperfect system run by imperfect people. Do you love your country more than you love God? Do you defend your country more than you share the eternal love of your savior? Do you proudly sing the Star Spangled Banner, but shy away from public prayer? Do you follow the laws of this land, but not the laws of God? Do you ridicule a man who kneels in the front of a nation to peacefully protest social injustice, but extol those who kneel to protest politics? What has your heart, soul, and mind?

Now I’m going to go there…Colin Kaepernick broke a social moré by kneeling as the national anthem was played. He knelt to protest injustice. He put his actions where his beliefs were and told us exactly why he chose to do what he did. We chose to label him anti-American and hate him for his “blatant disrespect” of a flag. At first I was in that crowd who had their mind blown — how could he be that disrespectful? But as the topic has perpetuated, I’ve had to examine my own heart and have come to the conclusion that, perhaps, Kap is giving to God what is His: loving God and then others above his nationalistic pride. Do I think everyone should begin kneeling at the anthem? No. However I can understand, empathize with and support the reason behind why a man chose to do so.

I am American and will continue to celebrate the birth of the country I’ve been blessed to live in, follow its laws, and stand and sing the Star Spangled Banner. But it’s time for me to stop giving my country that which belongs to God.

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