When Taxes Become Theft: A Call for Righteous Stewardship

( Brothers and sisters, today we gather to reflect on the balance between our obligations to our community and the righteous stewardship of our personal and family needs. Our Lord calls us to live justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Yet, there arises a point when the demands placed upon us by those in authority can lead us away from the path of justice. When the King’s men, our government, impose taxes that exceed what is just and reasonable, they tread dangerously close to theft and oppression. 

Scriptural Foundation:

The Bible provides us with clear guidance on the matter of stewardship and justice. In Proverbs 22:7, it says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” This scripture highlights the inherent danger in allowing one entity too much control over another’s resources. When the government demands more than its fair share, it places a burden too heavy for the people to bear.

The Role of Government:

The role of the government, or the King’s men, is to protect and serve the people, ensuring justice and the common good. Romans 13:1-7 speaks to the necessity of government and our duty to submit to it. However, this submission is not without its limits. The government’s role is not to enslave but to enable. It is to provide a structure where its citizens can flourish, not to strip them of their means to live.

The Evil of Excessive Taxation:

When taxes exceed 50% of an individual’s earnings, it is not merely a financial burden; it is a moral one. It is an act of taking more than what is justly due, infringing upon the individual’s ability to provide for themselves and their family. This is not just an economic issue but a profound ethical one. When the government takes more than half of what we earn, expecting us to survive on less than what they claim, they are effectively making us their servants. This level of taxation is a form of economic slavery.

Meeting Personal and Family Needs First:

1 Timothy 5:8 tells us, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” We have a divine mandate to ensure the well-being of our families. It is wrong for the King’s men to demand taxes before we have met the essential needs of those entrusted to our care. Our first responsibility is to our families, to ensure they have food, shelter, and the means to live a dignified life.

Hypocrisy of Excessive Taxation:

It is hypocritical for the government to demand more than 50% of our earnings, claiming it is insufficient for their needs, yet expecting us to live on the lesser portion. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, saying in Matthew 23:4, “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” This is a vivid picture of what happens when governments overreach.

When Taxes Become Theft:

Taxes become theft when they exceed what is necessary to fulfill the government’s legitimate role of ensuring justice and providing for the common good. When the government’s demands prevent individuals from meeting their primary obligations to their families and from stewarding their resources effectively, it has crossed a line. The prophet Micah warns us in Micah 6:8 that the Lord requires us “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” There is no justice in a system that demands more than half of what a person earns, leaving them with less than what is required to sustain their family and themselves.


As followers of Christ, we are called to seek justice and to stand against oppression. When the King’s men demand more than what is just, it is our duty to speak out. We must advocate for a system where taxes are fair and just, where the government does not take more than it gives, and where every individual can meet their personal and family needs first.

Let us pray for wisdom, courage, and discernment as we navigate these challenging issues. May we strive for a society where righteousness prevails and where each person can live in dignity and freedom, under the just stewardship of their resources. Amen.