President Obama recently made a controversial statement about the role of the individual in his own success, declaring: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” and “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
While the president’s implied argument falsely elevates government to the primary source of human activity, Obama is right to note that no one builds anything on their own. God is the source of each and every human activity. Without Him, we can truly do nothing. (John 15:5)
Nothing we do is, strictly speaking, our own individual achievement. God directs and provides the necessary tools for us to reach our goals in everything we do. Our intellect, ingenuity, and will are free gifts which God gives to us to accomplish tasks for His glory. Even our very existence is radically dependent on Him.
God places other men and women in our lives for our own benefit. He tells us that he will take care of our material needs. (Matthew 6:25-34)
We owe God a much greater debt than we could possibly owe the government. We human beings can survive without the help of government, but there is no possibility that we could survive without our Creator.
Our “fair tax” to our Creator should be our willingness to use these gifts in the service of God and neighbor, and to glorify Him as much as is possible in our every moment.