Tag Archives: integrity

Tax Shield

Tax Shield
by Danny Tariman

“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:21)

“Danny, but your taxes just go to the pockets of corruption.” This was my boss telling me when I decided to be fully taxed.

As a manager, I have some perks. Aside from the big salary and other benefits, I am also allowed to declare a sizable percentage of my income as ‘office expense’. I am just required to submit Official Receipts – for gas, for dining, for hotel accommodations, and even for some select grocery items – to cover these ‘expenses’.

When I comply with the submission of receipts, this ‘office expense’ portion of my salary is non-taxable. And therefore, I am able to take home much bigger amount.

However, I was not at peace. I am disturbed by the fact that the receipts that I submit are sometimes not my real expenses; I solicited the receipts from friends. Worse, the receipts are at times altered by padding zeroes to increase the expense!

In whatever way this is done, it is still not acceptable for me as these were not really official office expenses. This is plain dishonesty.

And so, after prayers and discernment, I decided to surrender this “perk” and ask my boss that I be fully taxed.

I remember telling my boss “between me and my God, I did what is right. For the corrupt officer who pockets these, it will be between him and his god”.

I felt relieved, I feel freedom! As John 8:32 says “the truth will set you free”.

Few months later, whatever amount I ‘lost’ because I was fully taxed, was compensated by a huge salary increase I got!

Reflection: Do you pay your taxes correctly? Is your bookkeeping in order in the sight of God?

Prayers: Am sorry Lord for falling to the traps of deception. Give me the strength to live out the truth in all areas of my life. Amen.

Advertisements

Just Say No

Just Say No
by Danny Tariman

“We are concerned for what is honorable not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of others.” (2 Cor 8:21)

“Hi Danny, can we meet this Wednesday?”

“Sure! What is the agenda?”

“Will discuss when we meet.”

This was the exchange of text messages between me and my friend of many years.

Over lunch, we updated each other. He did most of the talking. He told me a lot of stories about his growing business.

In the last few minutes, he requested to me go to a bank for a meeting, where his team will see a manager to discuss a project that his company is proposing to do. He asked me to pretend that I am a Software Architect/Business Analyst representing a competing technology company. I was also told to pretend not to know his team.

I was just listening to him discuss the meeting room scenario. He told me that I have no business card to give because I am supposed to be a new hire of this company that I am “representing”. He further asked me to give my mobile phone as contact number of the company I am to represent.

After about 5 minutes briefing of what I am supposed to do, he said “Bro, you have to go now as the meeting is to start at 2:30”.

I told him that it will be difficult for me. But he insisted.

And so we parted ways, with me walking toward the direction of the bank.

While walking, I prayed to the Lord to guide me as I was not at peace: these are all lies and pretensions. I also called my wife. She too was not at peace and felt that this is not pleasing to the Lord and very deceptive to the client.

With a very clear message from the Lord, I texted my friend “I am sorry bro, I can’t do this.”

He quickly called me to once again prod me to do it. But I insisted and asked for understanding. At this point, he did not press me anymore.

Although I needed a project for a job, I felt free and released from the burden of pretension when I said “No!” As the Bible says “Better to be poor and walk in integrity than rich and crooked in one’s ways” (Proverbs 28:6)

I know and believe that the LORD will honor my trust in Him and my obedience to His Word. I know He will answer my prayers and my dreams will come to pass very, very soon!

Battery Tested Integrity

Battery Tested Integrity
by Danny Tariman

“The one who lives uprightly and speaks honestly… This is the person who will live in a secure place” (Isaiah 33:15a,16a)

The battery of our car has been dead a number of times in the past few weeks. It happened at a time when all are rushing to go to work early in the morning.

The other day, when I and my wife visited a neighbor, it happened that a serviceman of the same battery brand was servicing our neighbor’s car battery. I took the opportunity to ask about our car’s battery which is just about 2 months before its warranty will expire. He said he will come to us to check.

Good enough, after few minutes, the serviceman came. He checked our sales invoice and noted that the warranty is about to expire. He said that a brand new of the same model can cost us P5,700. He further said that so I can save the cost of a new battery, he can “make it appear to be defective” by destroying the unit, and I can just give him some money. I then can simply call their service center for replacement.

I was uneasy because by destroying the unit, it will be unfair to the battery dealer. I further I told him I cannot lie or allow it because I am “close” to the LORD.

And so I asked him to check in detail the battery condition. He got the voltage reading of the battery with engine off, another with the engine running, and then another with the air-con and headlights on.

Based on his tests, the battery is still good. The alternator is working, only that the idling rpm or “revolution per minute” of the engine needs to be increased to fully charge the battery.

Deep inside of me I praise the LORD for saving me from the falling into the trap

In the end, the serviceman had apologized for offering the malicious “service”. I believe the LORD had spoken to his heart. As the Bible says “You must change the way you have been living and do what is right. You must treat one another fairly.” (Jeremiah 7:5)

REFLECTION: Have you experienced a trap to commit sin is laid before you? How did you respond?

PRAYER: LORD I pray that you grant me the strength to uphold what is right and true in every situation that I may be in. Amen.