In light of recent events and also in preparation for our nations political process coming with our election, I wanted to write a short article about what the Bible says about how we, as Christians, should handle authority.
Its very easy to look at our nations leadership and worry about our future especially when there are candidates with weak platforms, questionable morals and even practice deliberate attempts to destroy what this nation was founded on. I am no exception to this tendency and I will confess that I fall right into the category of worry, anger, and fear for our nation but I know that God call’s me to behave and respond in a much different way than I am.
1 Peter 2:13-17 says “13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
Lets read verse 17 again; “ 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” Did you notice the word “king” was not capitalized? He wasn’t referring to Himself in this verse. The word “king” was insinuating the position of government, leadership and authority.
Government is the will of God, put in a place to guide our country in both good and bad times. To praise those who do right by the will of God and to lead our nation in the proper steps for punishment of evil in our world. These verse’s are not easy to swallow considering that we also see evil in the very leadership that we are being told to honor. Its not easy when you see many of the people that God is asking us to respect have no respect for His country.
So what does God have to say about that?
Lets look in 1 Peter 2:18-19. 18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
God was faced with many injustices by leaders, kings and people of influence during His reign here on earth. He was put to death by an Emperor who saw him as innocent but followed through based on popularity. Do you not think that He knows what we are dealing with today? A King over all other kings doesn’t understand our political battles?
I believe that God commanded us to behave this way because He wants us to submit to His authority to know what true authority looks like. Verse 19 says “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.”. You will find favor when you set your gaze on God during times of trouble. When you lay your own understanding at the cross and lean on His understanding.
Our government leadership does not need the people of its nation to serve them justice when the ultimate Judge will handle it on the other side of the cross. He set you free so act as free men and women of God and continue His mission to lead people to Jesus. Our nation is in His hands and its the best place it could possibly be.
Pray for our country, pray for our leaders and God bless America.