Romans 13:1-2 – Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. (HCSB)
As I am having “just one more” cup of coffee, I am looking at a social media site trying to see what the day holds for everyone else before I try to tackle my own to-do list. I read post after post about our government leaders written by people who also write post after post about loving Jesus. I am sad for the writers of these posts. God calls us to honor our governing authorities. He doesn’t say to only honor them if we think they deserve it or to honor them only if they do what we want or any other “if”. The writers of these posts openly write that our leaders are unbelievers but continuously hold them to the standards of believers. If they are unbelievers, it is a standard they cannot meet. In Romans 8:7-8 Paul reminds us “the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” We as Christians are the ones called to follow the law of God. Instead of criticizing our government leaders by posting pictures of them on the golf course or counting the number of vacations each one has taken, we need to be praying for them. God will not hold his children responsible for the actions of our leaders, but He does hold his children responsible for our own actions. We are called to honor (Titus 3:1). We are called to pray (2 Chronicles 7:14). We are called to show mercy (James 2:13). We can disagree with our leaders, but we can disagree with honor, knowing that honoring does not equate endorsing. We can show our convictions while also showing respect. We need to realize that honoring our leaders is a witness to them as well as to all who observe our behavior. There are times we may identify strongly with Jeremiah 10:21 (For the shepherds are stupid: they don’t seek the Lord. Therefore they have not prospered, and their whole flock is scattered.), but all the time we know that God has allowed these “shepherds” to be our leaders. May I live with Joshua 1:9 ever before me while following Paul’s direction in 1 Timothy 2: 1-2.