‘Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive.’ Hebrews 13:17 NKJV
Until you learn to respect authority, you will never be qualified to exercise it. Why?
(1) Because you will have no credibility.
(2) Because you won’t really understand what it means to be a follower.
Today the entertainment industry glamorises rebels and turns them into heroes. But that’s not how it works in everyday life. An insubordinate attitude will buy you a one-way ticket to a life of trouble and failure. The Bible says this:
(1) ’Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.’ (Romans 13:7 NIV)
(2) Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.’ (1 Peter 2:17 NIV) Peter’s call was a tough one—he didn’t restrict it to honouring your parents, or those who honour you. He even included the emperor who, at the time he was writing, was Nero. This was the ruler who was setting Christians up to take the blame for lots of unrest in Rome, and then having them executed. But even he wasn’t excluded! Today we tend to speak of our leaders, particularly politicians, with serious disrespect but when Peter said honour everyone, he meant everyone. As citizens, we are called to respect our government. ‘The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.’ (Romans 13:1–2 NIV)
‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority… This is good, and pleases our Saviour.’ (1 Timothy 2:1–3 NIV)
SoulFood: Gen 11:1–9 Phil 2:1–11
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023