Growing up as a Christian, we were trained to give our tithe that is, the ten percent of all our produce. It is not an offering nor a love gift but it is God’s share which we ought to give back to whom it rightfully belongs. From my weekly allowance of a hundred pesos during high school, I set aside ten pesos for the Lord. As my allowance increased, my tithe also increased. And when I started working, having a regular income makes my tithing even bigger. I never think twice before dropping in my tithe during Sunday services in church no matter how big I think it is. But it can never be too big. We are never worthy to give any amount or anything to God. Siya pa, na siya ang nagmamay-ari ng lahat? Even our lives, we owe to Him. Walang katiting ang tithe natin sa lahat na naibigay na Niya sa atin. I am just so blessed that I understood tithing appropriately and up to this very day, God is very faithful in overflowing His blessings to our family not just financially.
You might be wondering why am I sharing this to you now. I would just like to make a comparison between tithing and paying our taxes. In the Bible, Jesus was asked by the Pharisees whether it is lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not. Jesus simply answered to give Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.(Mark 12:13-17) This is just a direct commandment that we must and we should pay what is due to us.
Every January of each year marks the renewal of business permits. Even before I opened Fascino, I already filed an application for a business permit. Way back 2009, it was too affordable to get one. But the following year, the due increased a fraction and kept on increasing every year. Take note, this is not just the renewal but also the quarterly taxes. Until this year, it got tripled from the previous year’s amount! Imagine that???!!! What a high-jump of an increase it was! It was so heartbreaking for me to pay that big an amount considering that my business is not that prolific as people are thinking!
Contrary to the foundation I have in giving my tithe religiously and wholeheartedly, this time I complained, I grumbled, I disapproved! I felt that my hard-earned money was being robbed! Para akong batang inagawan ng kendi!!! But then and again, I paid because as what Jesus said, give Caesar what is Caesar’s.
Then last week, paying of second quarter taxes was due again. For the second time, I complained, I grumbled, and I disapproved. I haven’t got back what I lost three months ago and now, I will lose again?! Where’s justice in free enterprise? For me, it is just so unfair for small businesses like mine!
After paying, I got so stressed for a week! I brainstormed on what good could I still do for my business. As a non-business graduate, it is very hard for me to tackle business strategies. As a struggling businesswoman, it is very hard for me to keep up. I also reviewed the business cash flow from start-up to present. With all honesty and without shame, I declare that my business is only breaking even for five whole years. Is this good news or bad news? I, myself see this as bad news for I just found out that I’m getting negative each year.
Through that, I came to ask myself if I could still survive for the next year or even these upcoming months. I foresee that continuing my business would only mean that the small earning I’ll ever have will only go to taxes. This got me beyond frustrated and desperate. This got me too discouraged to fight for Fascino, my fascination, my creation, my baby. Tears are now welling up my eyes because it hurts so much just to even think of letting her go.
Despite all of these, I still have to claim God’s promise. For Malachi 3:10 says “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” I pray that I won’t get carried away by my emotions. I pray that all these negativities will vanish and be replaced with positivities. For God is in control of all things and He is always true to His promise!