Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
1 Peter 2:13-19
God has been nailing me with this passage lately, speaking to me about my attitude towards all kinds of different authorities. He has commanded us to submit ourselves to every authority instituted among men. In the second paragraph, note that He doesn’t just command slaves to submit to good masters. Even harsh masters are worthy of submission. Ultimately, it is God that we are submitting ourselves to when are subject to those over us.
I have recently learned that submission is not the same thing as obedience. Obedience is our outward actions, but submission speaks to our heart attitude towards those in authority.
To paraphrase Peter a bit in today’s terms, I think we can say: “Honor every authority above you, including every authority in the government, including those you don’t like or with whom you completely disagree!”
In this presidential election season, another good post regarding our attitudes as followers of Christ has been provided by Brian Bailey. Here is an excerpt:
At some point, though, we have to take responsibility for the tone of politics. Even though our discourse is largely a reflection of what we hear from the parties and the media, why should we descend to that level? Why can’t we do better? If you are fed up with how politics is practiced, let’s start changing how we practice politics.
The candidate you support is motivated by political calculation and a desire to win just like his opponent. He has compromised when he shouldn’t have, ducked when he should have stood up, and made many mistakes (and will continue to do so). Like all national politicians, he is a flawed man surrounded by flawed advisors. The nation’s problems will not be solved by his election, but he can and hopefully will makes things better, improve the political process, and appeal to our better natures.
The candidate you oppose is not stupid, senile, dangerous, different, or corrupt. He loves this country and has served it most of his life. He will defend our nation with honor and always do what he thinks is in the best interest of America. He does not deserve to be mocked, belittled, or hated. The snide and snarky only serve to make intelligent debate between reasonable people impossible, while escalating the smack talk arms race.
There are endless arguments to be made for and against each of these candidates on the issues, but why do we have to demonize and deify them in the process?
Good words, don’t you think? If you don’t agree, I challenge you to consider what it is you disagree with and why.
I encourage you to read Brian’s complete post. I commend him and others who are taking a stand this election against the slew of negativity all too often coming from Christians. If you think the message of honoring our leaders is for Kingdom people, then do your part to positively influence those around you.