Give Everyone What You Owe—Romans 13:6-7

"This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor" (Romans 13:6-7)

As believers we should be above reproach concerning money. We should be faithful and diligent stewards and appropriate it wisely. We should pay our taxes, pay salaries and let no debt remain outstanding. Whether we owe money, respect or honor we should be quick to settle those accounts and render to all men their dues.

The Pharisees asked Jesus something similar in Mark 12. They were trying to trap Jesus and came asking if they should pay taxes to Caesar or not. Jesus knowing their hearts answered them, "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it."They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. ( Mark 12:15-17 ). The Bible records the Pharisees marveled at his answer and asked him no more questions.

They were intent on entrapping him in order to accuse him and hand him over to the authorities. But Jesus knew their hypocrisy and called them on it. Luke's account went on to say, "They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent" ( Luke 20:26 ). By his one answer he utterly defeated those trying to accuse him. His answer showed that He upheld the civil authorities that ruled and instructed others to do the same.

In the same way we are to render what is due to others. Paul reminds us that they are God's servants devoting themselves to governing. It is logical that the citizens should pay for and support their service. In the same breath Paul reminds us to always give everyone what you owe them. If it is taxes, pay your taxes. If it is revenue or money, then pay them. If you owe respect then give respect if it is honor then show honor. In doing this you will live above reproach in this world.


Juli Camarin

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