“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” – I Tim 2:1-3 (NIV).
One time I had an American guest visiting at home. Suddenly we started talking about US politics. At the time President Barrack Obama had just passed some policies which were causing serious concerns among believers. After venting seriously, my visitor, cooling down, calmly said, “But he is our President and we must respect him.”
In times like these which are politically charged it is so easy to be drawn into mudslinging those one disagrees with in power. Yet the Bible has left an injunction for followers of Christ, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God” (Romans 13:1).
One person has asked, “Does that mean Christians must obey all these evil doers in power!” The answer is, when Christians respect those in authority who misuse the power God has given them it does not mean they condone their behavior. Rather, it is a form of witness, that through their civil conduct perhaps these rulers may be drawn to God. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” ( Mat 5:16). And Apostle Peter has advised, “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world” (1 Peter 2:12).
There are certainly times when any may feel justifiably angry and possibly eager to hit back at those who are abusing the authority God has given them to guide His people properly. Yet, “it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord” (Romans 12: 19). For that reason Christians should be careful not to fall beneath the best Christian values by taking on the same tools as worldly people do, for then, one might ask, “where is the difference!”
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of creation, of heaven and earth, when I see injustice and how the evil misuse the power you have given them, I feel the urge to fight and disobey laws, but then I am reminded you are in control and I pray that my conduct towards all those in authority may serve as a witness of faith in a just God!