Posted tagged ‘United States Treasury’

The Grace of The IRS

April 19, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                      April 19, 2016


One restaurant chain offered a special deal last Friday, April 15, where a customer could receive a free entree with the purchase of an entree. They just assumed that April 15 was Tax Day, like it usually is!

But, lo and behold, the Internal Revenue Service had delayed the income tax return filing date until Monday, April 18. The three extra days allowed millions of people to procrastinate even longer in paying up!

The extra days came as a result of Emancipation Day, a holiday that is celebrated in the District of Columbia to recognize when slaves were freed there. Since Emancipation Day is April 16, a Saturday, the day before (April 15) became a holiday for government workers in D.C.

Thus the three day stay of execution!

Consider the three days as the grace of the IRS. What is rightfully due to them was backed off for seventy-two hours. Across the country there was a collective sigh of relief, like when a snow day postponed that Algebra test we were scheduled to take at school. Our initial thought was “Thank God! Another day to study and prepare!”, and that thought soon melted away from our minds as we went sledding with the neighbor’s kids. That evening we prayed to God for a blizzard to descend upon us, or, if not that, that he might eliminate Algebra as a school subject entirely!

The IRS planned this three day grace period long before it arrived, but, you see, grace is not high on the IRS’s priority list. Monday came…tax returns were filed…and the money was due.

And let’s be honest! The grace of the IRS, limited and distorted as it is, mirrors our own extended grace. We’re prone to back off from throwing the hammer down…for a while, and then we become stone-faced and legalistic.

One reason for that is that people take advantage of a grace-filled person. When someone hears that there is a grace period he often looks to see how he can personally gain from it. A person of grace is seen as being a soft touch.

And so, like the IRS, we offer limited grace, because…that’s just how it should be!

The more I comprehend the grace of God the more I am overwhelmed by it. It filters into my life and I know I’m not deserving. It confounds the minds of those who live by right-and-wrong boundaries.

In makes no sense to most of us, and yet, as followers of Christ, we trumpet its virtues.

This year we wrote a check to the United States Treasury that lowered the national debt a wee bit. What do you think the IRS would have said to me if I would have pleaded for mercy? Would compassion have been the response? If you believe that, I have some excellent shares of Krispy Kreme stock I’d like to sell you!