Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Infant Steps: Is What Everyone Doing Always Right?

Beloved EROLyrics Readers,

Welcome to a blessed week. Covenant grace and peace be to you in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior, who reigns forevermore.

Today’s question on the Infant Steps Series has to do with following the crowd. Sometimes we do things everyone is doing but is it always right? Please read Nelson’s question below and share your views. I am not quite sure how to categorize this question. Integrity? Tax evasion? Honesty? Please suggest something. Thank you.

Dear Rita,

I am a born-again Christian and have been for over seven years. I thank God for my job. One of the benefits of my job is that we are paid furniture allowances towards the end of the year. The options for collecting the allowance are
1) It is paid with salary and hence taxed heavily (to lose like 18-22% of it) or
2) A false receipt is brought stating that I have already bought my furniture and I need a refund. In the process of refund, the money does not have to go through my salary. This money we are talking about here is huge and much more than how much I would spend on furniture.

Recently, in my office, some folks were talking about whether option 2 is right or wrong. Someone said, “As long as Nelson does it, it is not wrong because he is a born-again Christian?”

Is option 2 wrong? This is what everyone does because our counterparts in other organizations are paid this allowance but the allowance is not taxed. If your answer is yes, please explain why.


If you have any questions you would like to discuss on the Infant Steps Series, please drop me an email at esurunma@gmail.com or leave the question as a comment in any of my blog posts.

If you want to view past questions and answers on the Infant Steps Series, please check the list on the sidebar right of the blog.

All posts on the Infant Steps Series will be posted on Tuesdays, 9 AM West Africa Time.


Telekinesys said...

No.2 is totally wrong.The company see a reciept which connotes furniture purchased and really you didn't buy anything. Its clear really.What you guys show focus on is working on getting the tax deduction cut. Its obvious you are not comfortable with it either. James4:17

jhazmyn said...

Oh my...i couldn't help but laugh out after reading this, guess that cos my mind told me "you know what you'd do if it were you don't you".

That aside, in simple right and wrong terms Nelson, option 2 is wrong, simple reason being that to forge a receipt would be a lie.

I totally understand your struggle, i work in the construction sector and most times we do some form of bribery to get favors from clients and we call it PR, bottom line is, no matter what its called or how its explained, its still what it is, same with option 2.

Great that you are born again and have been for 7years, that i believe makes u a mature person when it comes to a relationship with God, like i always tell grounded Christians, let ur conscience be your guide cos that's one of the ways through which the Holy spirit directs us.

Dee! said...

Dear Nelson,

Option 2 is wrong in all Christian standards.

The fact that a "born again" christian does a "wrong" act does not make it "right".

Although if the furniture allowance is "heavily" taxed when paid with the salary, option 1 is the option a christian should opt for.

Remember even Jesus Christ encouraged us to pay our taxes even as we pay our tithes. See Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17 and Luke 20:25.

The furniture allowances are regarded as "benefits-in-kind" and are only taxable once they exceed a certain amount.

David C Brown said...

The world's standard is not our standard. The Lord Jesus is our standard - and what would He do? He had nothing to do with falsehood.

Kafo said...

i have absolutely no idea

Kafo said...

okay i just read it again and now i'm wondering why are you really asking us if you think it is wrong or not

what does your heart say

i think u already know but for some reason need to feel validated.

so yeah
don't listen to us jare
listen to the still small voice

simeone said...

yes o...everybody has said it...
1 million people doing the wrong thing..will never make it right...not in a million years...
kafo says it well...and i like david browns comment too..
option 2 is not right..

Afrobabe said...

Not sure if we are meant to respond as I haven't been here for a while…

Nelson, I'll tell you what my dad taught me as a kid..he said whenever you do anything that makes you hope people don’t find out, or something you look around to see if someone is watching…then know it's wrong..It's not our place to tell you if its wrong or right…Your mind will always tell you...

Remi, United Kingdom said...

The answer to the question is the question "what would Jesus do"? He is meant to be our standard. We live in this world, but we are not meant to be a part of it, and that includes the way we behave, think and live...

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