Give to Caesar What Is Caesar’s: Give to God What is God’s – Worship

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(Last Updated On: January 5, 2019)

The above title speaks of Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees as they were trying to trap him with a trick question in Mark 12:13-17. The topic of discussion was whether people should pay taxes. If he had answered “No” or “Yes,” he would have been charged with treason against Rome or his own, the Jews.

What was he saying? To give Caesar his dues/taxes, because the coins bore Caesar’s image. However, they were also expected to give God His dueoffering themselves in worship – having been made in the image and likeness of God. 

Every year, many are excited about December, citing the usual cliche “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” People seem friendlier, happier, have more money and seem to be on a high. Whatever the reason, everyone is affected in some way.

Stores are filled to capacity as everyone is in a hustle to get (hopefully meaningful) presents for their loved ones. Some go out on a limb to impress while others provoke their friends by having the gall to send an empty card (without money) or a digital greeting (even worse)…I heard you; some nerve, right? 

Some save for the entire year so there will be enough funds to “Shop ‘till they drop” (another cliche). They outfit their already well-furnished homes, buy enough food to entertain a drove of wild hogs at a deluxe buffet.

Then, there are those goodly folk ringing bells who put things in perspective by soliciting whatever you can afford (usually, small coins) to share with the less fortunate. Their intentions are noble at any time of the year.

Celebrate, Commemorate or Constrain?

While some ponder if Jesus was born on the December 25th (or even born at all), others believe his birth shouldn’t be a big deal, but rather, his death.

Some have mixed feelings — so though they enjoy the “air” of the season, they tread carefully and observe from a distance. They may choose to commemorate (quietly acknowledge) the occasion instead. Yet, tons of turkey, ham, sorrel, and the best of beverages are “benevolently” tucked away in their homes — just in case someone stops in unawares (allowed only at this time of year). And don’t forget to bring gifts for little Johnny and the other kids.

Then there are the hardliners who don’t associate with Christmas at all but still welcome big bonuses, awards, gifts, and other useful tokens.

Just don’t discuss why they compromise do it and all will be well. I call them “seasoned” flirters and party poopers at heart. Most of them you know wouldn’t refuse a buttload of $100 bills (not that butt — see image below), dark chocolates, invitations to lunches and other goodies to justify their disassociation with Christmas, right? 

No Brainers are Us!

Then there are the brains behind the commercial aspect. The engines that turn the wheel of the festivities and turn our brains to mush with tempting deals we can’t don’t want to refuse. Yes, the abominable adorable merchants who stock up shop, so we can “shop ‘till we drop” or die dead broke (there he goes again with the cliches).

Merchants may not all be in one accord with the “reason for the season” but they will grab hold (by hook or by crook) of any opportunity to tap your pockets dry every time.

They are businessmen/women, who can blame them. Making money is the reason for the season they exist. 

You may now be wondering where is he going with all this.

Happiness is for Sale — The Link Between Money and Happiness

For you skeptics who always equate money with misery, try this. Let’s say you go into work and the boss says, “I have decided to triple your salary, effective now…” Think about it, seriously.

Money is an extension of our lives, the reward for our skills, our aptitude, knowledge. With money we can reach our goals much faster than if we had little resources. The more money we have, the happier we are likely to be for obvious reasons. We can pay our debts, help others and live our dreams. With good management we can reduce our stress levels significantly.

  • Again, it’s safe to say the more we have, the happier we are likely to become. When we buy things for our pleasure we are “buying” happiness (though not necessarily joy).
  • Another aspect is that most get a kick from giving to others. Admittedly, it feels great to give – and sometimes that awesome feeling nice people (like me) experience when giving, is sweeter than when they receive.

Can this be the reason most of us are in good spirits at this time of year? Because we have more money to “buy” and share “happiness?”

A Reason to Celebrate

If you are like me, you celebrate your birthday because you are grateful to God for life. You are a gift to the world and your birthday is your special day. It wears your name and announces to the world that you have a purpose – there is a reason you were born. Accordingly, you’re pampered by your loved ones and held in high regard.

Special days of the year include paying tribute to ordinary men and women. We acknowledge them by celebrating their legacy and contribution to mankind.

We understand that everyone will not share a common belief system but since Christmas owns the name of its Lord, let’s celebrate the Reason, significance, and purpose of His birth. Just remember though, He’s not a baby anymore. 

The real reason for Christmas competes with many other mainstream alternative symbols for proper recognition, but I am a Merry Christmas and not a “Happy Holidays/Season’s Greetings” kinda guy. I will identify with the “reason for the season” as long as it is called “Christmas.” It bears His name and honor is due.

Whether we identify with Christianity or not, for me, Jesus was born — and this time is used to celebrate Him. It doesn’t matter if this time of year originated with pagan intentions. Here’s why.

To Those Who Don’t Celebrate Because of Pagan Roots.

The days of the week represented pagan gods (Sunday, Monday…) yet we don’t worship a sun god (I hope) on Sundays. We were not responsible for naming the days of the week. But it’s our responsibility to worship God every day in spite of. 

Once our hearts and motives are true, like the wise men (who said there were 3?) , we will worship and thank God for the reason He came into the world — to save mankind from their sins.

Don’t use his name in vain when you say “Christmas” or give credit to any other. After all, it’s Christmas and we celebrate its King. Give to God what is God’s.

Please share your comments below and remember to share with friends.

Merry CHRISTmas and a Happy New Year from all at Better Human Beings!!

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46 Replies to “Give to Caesar What Is Caesar’s: Give to God What is God’s – Worship”

  1. It’s actually quite nice to come across someone that still recognises the real reason for the season – I’ve tried explaining it to my kids time and time again, but all they see is an opportunity to amass more Xbox games! 

    This was a lovely article to read at this time of the year, and did a great job at refreshing my day and reminding me why we should be happy throughout this month. 

    Where are you planning on spending the 25th this year?

    1. Hi Chris!

      Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your experience. We live in a world with many distractions. I am afraid that our children can’t seem to survive without their gadgets. As parents, we have to find a way to reach them re. meaning of life etc. But I’m sure they will get it at some point, they usually do.

      Chris, I usually spend it at home quietly with the family relaxing. In the afternoon we may go driving around to look at various lighting displays.

      All the best to you and yours!

  2. I like that you allude to the difference between happiness and joy. I think the two have been so easily confused, but I’ve come to see happiness as a feeling that can come. People buy something that makes them happy, but eventually, that fades and the desire to buy something else creeps in to bring back that happiness. I think of Paul and other apostles who counted it all joy to suffer for the name of Christ. Certainly, they were not happy being whipped, but their joy was not something that could be taken away. It was higher and more powerful than mere happiness. They had the joy of the Lord. They knew that no matter what happened to them on earth, Jesus could not be taken away. They had hope and a future which lead to their joy. God bless!

    1. Hi Stephen!
      That’s the proper definition and explanation (with an example) right there between happiness and joy.
      Thanks for sharing this powerful truth which you have masterfully pulled out of the article.

      All the best to you and yours!

  3. You are right about money being a way that people can feel good about themselves and be happy because they can give more to loved ones and buy things that make them feel happy to have.  But this year my husband and I got a good lesson in what the holiday should really mean.

    My husband lost his job right after Thanksgiving and both of us were pretty shell shocked since he’d been there for a long time.  We’ve been depressed about not being able to buy the things we wanted for our grandchildren and didn’t even want to celebrate Christmas. But then my grandson came over and was asking why we didn’t put up the lights we had last year because they were so beautiful.  So he helped us put up the lights and was so happy, and we realized that we were letting money dictate everything and not seeing what was really important.  

    I was able to get a job pretty quickly, and we’re confident that my husband will find one within a couple of months.  So we have a lot to be grateful for and celebrate, and I think it’s going to be one of the best Christmas’s ever!

    1. Hi Janelle!

      What an important lesson you have learned here. I am sorry about your present situation but as you know, it will not remain like this for long. I am glad your grandson came along and demonstrated what is really important. 

      All the best and I wish you and yours great success.

      David

  4. Jesus is my Lord and Savior,and I absolutely loved your article and wished I saw more like it on the internet. Thank you for sharing words that we all should be saying on a regular basis, but that many of us fail to do.  The world is growing darker as we go along, shaming us for saying those wonderful words, “Merry Christmas” like we are going to forever offend someone.  Shout it from the rooftops MERRY CHRISTMAS, and I promise I won’t get offended when on the next rooftop someone yells out, “HAPPY HANUKKAH!”  I introduce my Lord to people around me, but they have to follow their own path, and I don’t judge, so why would they judge me?  Yet they do.

    Merry Christmas, my fellow believer, and my God bless your new year with much success for you and your loved ones.  I look forward to reading more of your wonderful writing.  Thank you.

    1. Hi Babsie!

      Thanks for taking the time. Love your attitude here. I agree with you. There is nothing to be offended or ashamed about Christmas at all. That’s why there’s a Christmas… because of Christ. Still, many seem to try to rip the meaning from the real message by having other versions of the season etc. Others make no apologies for their beliefs so why should we?

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

      David

  5. I  lost my emotion while reading this article. A part of this article amazed me, why we are so much concerned and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ instead of place much concerned to the death of Jesus Christ. This touch me so much because HIS death is mission accomplished, went through that tribulation on the cross of Calvary and still be able to concern the death, that should be what we should place much emphasis than the Christmas we are so much concerned worldwide. also i picked an interest in this quote “Give to Caesar What Is Caesar’s”and bible made us understand that “Jesus said i come to keep the existing law , i am not here in this world to destroy the existing laws” This article preaching the gospel of God

    1. Hi Adebayo!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your heart with us. Jesus’ reason for coming is usually downplayed but there’s a greater message there.

      Have an awesome Christmas & Happy New Year! 

  6. Good afternoon David,

    Thank you for this nice and thoughtful post. When I was still a child I found the Christmas time quite magical. If we were lucky it would have snowed and my Father would put my sledge behind the car and we would make a tour through the beautiful forest. After awhile I would be freezing so on coming home my Mother would have hot chocolate. 

    I now live in Spain and keep the tradition of my garandparents and parents, real candles in the life tree. I had run out of reserve so I ordered the Bolsius candles from Holland. The delivery company could not find me and they drove around with the parcel for a whole week. I have been living here since 1981 so really strange. 

    When the candles are lit for the first time all the other lights in the living are out. We will sit for quite some time in silence contemplating the beauty. It might get emotional now and then as one remembers people who are not here anymore. This year I will also remember Cindy, my Rottweiler lady who left this summer. A few months later old Missu had to leave, she came walking in as a baby in 1995.

    Especially Christmas is the time we should remember that we are all equal with the same rights and obligations.

    I hope that 2019 will be a peaceful year.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Hi Taetske!

      Thanks for your taking the time to e read and for sharing your lovely story. I know the feeling only too well of having persons (and animals) missing from our Christmas table. Have a wonderful New Year!

      David 

  7. Thanks for this post David. I am very much like you, I celebrate Christmas. And I’m happy I know the reason for this season, it goes way beyond all the presents, food, decorations and all the merriment. This is the time we remember how our Lord and saviour Jesus came to the world as a baby. He came to save us from our sins!

    1. Hi Juliet!

      You said it! I am happy to know you know the reason for the season.

      All the best to you and yours, Juliet. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  8. Excellent write up on the importance and appreciation we should have for Christmas. This was a very well-written post that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, especially on a topic that I guess I had taken for granted. It is great to have a chance to reflect about the true meaning and purpose of Christmas and the chance to celebrate god in all our lives (no matter what religion we are). Loved this post and it is definitely a topic worth discussing with family and friends during the holidays so thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Wish you all the best,

    David

    1. Thank you much for reading and sharing, David (nice name by the way :-)) Glad you enjoyed it.

      Wishing you and yours the best as well!

      David

  9. I enjoyed reading this article, and it is a great reminder to everyone of the real reason to celebrate Christmas.  So many people seem to forget the true meaning of Christmas, and often become so greedy and overspend money that they don’t actually have.  To me the importance of Christmas is spending quality time with loved ones, and making memories.  Gifts don’t really matter to me  as I get older, I find I would be happy without.  Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you Jenny. You are quite right. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year  to you and yours!

  10. I have spent a bit of money for Christmas, but only because I want to be able to give my children some great gifts, while I am alive to do so.  My kids are much older now with the youngest being 17 years old.  They do understand that as the grinch once said that “Christmas doesn’t come from a store”, all that they really want for Christmas is to be together as a family and have a special meal.  It’s not the money or the gifts that are important it’s the little things that money can’t buy.

  11. An interesting post. I didn’t stop until the end. You couldn’t have put it in a better way.

    I share exactly this opinion. Many celebrate Christmas without having any knowledge or relationship with the Christ in it. To many, it’s all about eating, drinking, vacations, shopping and all…

    Thank you for sharing this and reminding us the actual reason for the season. Merry Christmas David.

    1. Thank you Eohia! Appreciate you taking the time to read. Glad you read everything 🙂 – a dying art.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours. Bountiful blessings.

  12. Great article that aligns exactly with my view of Christmas. We celebrate all else (Valentine’s) so why not a particular, special occasion that celebrates Christ – and add to the pagan origins, that of wedding rings which we all wear yet rebuke the celebration of Christ’s birthday. Like the Apple (with the Genesis portion bitten out) computers, it’s how we use it and not that we use it.
    Christmas is an ideal and opportune time to squeeze in an evangelical strategic word to our unsaved friends to tell them about the most wonderful beginning with an amazing end of a miraculous plan of salvation. And you don’t have to tell the whole story one time, sometimes just the mention of a birth with a difference may pique someone’s interest.
    Well written too David…I love the cynical strikethroughs! I really enjoyed reading it and am intrigued with the connection you made to money. Excellent!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, Lisa. You have made some interesting points here. The important thing to remember is that Christ was born and his birth was celebrated. He was sought after by “wise men” & women to be worshiped and to be presented with gifts.

      At this time of year, it is our hope and prayer that many will do likewise (no pun intended)…Seek him and give him their best – their gifts of worship.

      A glorious Christmas time to you and yours 🙂

  13. I really like this post, well detailed and I cherish the clarity.i think the essence of Christmas is to show love to one another. Cause Christ himself gave his life for us. We should find time to spend with family and relatives, friends and folks. We should learn to show love and give what is of God to God.

    1. Hi Clement!

      That’s it. Thank you for sharing this truth.

      Have a great Christmas celebration – you and yours!

      David

  14. Where I Live Christmas is not  a big celebration, Easter is the deal, with fire works and all kinds of festivity. In my opinion some people are not even celebrating the birth of Christ, they just use Christmas as a family day, a day to eat a lot and drink a lot, that’s it. Some don’t even know the story of Christmas.

    For me Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ and a time to remember and give to those who are less fortunate. Ok and eat lots of Good food.

    Great post, very thought provoking.

    1. Hi Rose!

      Thank you for your comment. This is the first time I’m hearing about Easter being celebrated above Christmas. Wow! But you are right. For some, it’s about food. I noticed you are keen on the “good food” too, :-). 

      All the best. Merry Christmas!

  15. Thank you for this great information. 

    I’m glad there are still people thinking the same way. Most people forget what Christmas means but yes, money can make you happy, but some people having too much money can make them unhappy too. Christmas is not about giving gifts, it’s about the love and time with family and friends and being thankful to God for another Day or years.

    God Bless You All 

  16. Wow what a beautiful article. I do not believe it could have been said any better. I do love to give at any time of the year but people seem more appreciative around this time, not sure if by coincidence or just feeling the great energy from every body else, but either way I celebrate Christmas with Christ in it, Merry Christmas!

  17. I love your attention grabbing headline.  That biblical passage always invokes thought, reflection and curiosity.Great perspectives throughout, notably for retailers at Christmas time – Making money is the reason they exist!

    I am also a Merry Christmas and not a “Happy Holidays/Season’s Greetings” person too.  Thank you David for sharing your perspectives, I hope many read it.  I have shared on my Facebook page as I have been feeling this exact same way!  Keep up the great work and articles!

    1. Hi John!
      Thank you for taking the time to read and to share. I am glad you liked it.

      Thank you for the FB share. Really appreciate it.

      Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and yours!
      David

  18. Thanks for writing this. I feel the message of Christmas is constantly smothered by the commercial nature of most people. I love to celebrate Christmas and buy presents for all of my loved ones. I love buying a tree and taking my children to see Santa but at the end of the day, we always remind our children that we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. If you ask my 3 year old who’s birthday is Christmas, she says “Jesus!” I love that. 

    Also thanks for posting the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. My 3 year old says that’s her favorite song ever. We hear it at least 3 or 4 times every day during this season.

    1. Hi Eric!
      Thanks for your contribution here. I am glad that your 3-year-old is aware of whose birthday it is in spite of… :-).
      I love that song too. I play it a bit more often though 🙂

      Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and yours

  19. I grew up in a family that properly appreciates Christmas and what it really means to celebrate Christmas. It wasn’t all about personal gifts and holiday greetings. I like where you stated you were for merry Christmas greetings and not one who just says happy holidays .

    Christmas is a day of the year picked to celebrate the day Jesus was born, and it is not something anyone should take for granted. I’m glad to see there are a lot others who feel this way. Thank you for this amazing article 

    1. Hi Solomon.
      Thank you too. I am glad you had that foundational upbringing. It makes all the difference in who we become and how we function as adults.

      Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and yours – All the best to you and yours!
      David

  20. Hello David,

    Thank you for this incredible reminder of why we celebrate the season! I really liked that you started with a bible quote as you just don’t see that on many websites. Proverbs has a lot of great quotes that deal with finance as well. They may not be as modern as far as problems, but there are very many similarities in situations.

    You are absolutely correct that we should be thankful and give praise to God for allowing us to celebrate this season. There are many people out there who use christmas for the wrong reasons or for commercial purposes. It has become a huge commercial event that boosts the economy towards the end of the year. 

    It even affects the stock market, as they panic if enough sales aren’t made by the year’s end. We need to be thankful for our family and not care too much about what the world says we should be doing. Thank you for this insightful reminder and keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Daniel!
      Thank you for taking the time to make your contribution here. I agree with you.
      thank you for your kind words of encouragement.
      All the best.

      Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and yours.
      David

  21. History has proven that Jesus was not born on the 25th of december; but my question is this; why was the 25th of december picked as the birthday Jesus. In recent times christmas is mostly celebrated without the mention of Jesus, it has become  a time to be merry and to have fun, share with friends and family and be nice to everyone around.

    My second question is that how did all the red and white and green colours get associated with the birth of Jesus christ and christmas.Any answers please.Thank you.

  22. Christmas has been overtaken by the commercial pressure to buy buy buy, I do believe many people forget what it’s all about. It’s nice to take time out and remember why we celebrate it. I don’t think schools do enough anymore or  TV channels.  

    Last time I looked I didn’t see one listing for a Christmas film about Jesus. 

    1. Hi Darren!
      Yes, every year it gets worse. It has become more about the magic of Christmas and centers around Santa etc. and even on giving. It has become a super event for the stores to make a killing.
      Thanks much for posting.
      Have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.
      David

  23. Hi Zuchii!
    Thanks for your comments. I think most know by now that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th, however, the origin behind that date is based on Emperor Constantine wanting to declare Christianity as the main religion and since many festivals were already being celebrated around that time, he sought to enforce (or overpower) the pagan holidays. Read about some of that here.
    Concerning your 2nd question… that’s really all a part of the same tradition (pagan) – more info can be found here

    Thanks again for your input – All the best to you and yours!
    David

  24. THIS IS COOL MAN. I am A WINE PRODUCER Christian, who said you should not drink. The Jews produce some of the best wines. Money, the root of all evil, no. It is “loving it” or hoarding. I have been able to get out of the poverty trap, and this season is my busiest. You attack this from every side. There is only one flaw, you don’t choose to worship God anyhow. Jesus said you WORSHIP IN
    SPIRIT AND TRUTH.

  25. Hi Chesterfield!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post (serious post, with a bit of fun). I agree with you – nothing is wrong with wine. I am happy that you are a successful Christian businessman (wine producer) and making money. Nothing wrong with that at all. I don’t lump all merchants together in this post… I am primarily referring to those who don’t celebrate Christmas yet leverage it all they can. I understand that merchants are positioned to make a profit – more than at any other time of the year for obvious reasons.

    You are correct… we must worship Him in spirit and in truth – John 4:24.
    Happy New Year to you and yours and I pray continued success in all that you do.
    David

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