Not too long ago, I watched a vintage game show episode in which the President was mentioned. They spoke of the President with such respect, which surprised me! I don’t hear a lot of people speak respectfully of our President or other political leaders. I know I don’t speak that way myself.
Recently, I’ve heard many people speaking ill about our political leaders. I have been guilty of doing so, but it’s not right! The Bible tells us clearly about how we are to think of the political leaders that God has placed over us.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. – Romans 13:1
Even if we don’t agree with our leaders politically, God says we must respect them. Even if we know they are biblically wrong, we still must respect their authority.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I know it can be hard to respect our leaders sometimes, but Paul lived his life under the Roman Empire. Many Roman emperors were extremely sinful, yet Paul said to pray for them.
I do want to point out that we also must obey God before anyone else. If we are commanded to do something sinful, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29b
That is the only reason to disobey or disrespect authority, though. Further, Jesus has told us, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44
That command sounds like the opposite of mocking or slandering. We aren’t to do that to anyone, never mind our authorities.
God loves everyone, and he wants everyone to get saved. Christians should speak up about their political beliefs, but spouting insults toward the other side isn’t the answer. We should behave as Jesus would: proclaiming the truth in love. That way, we have a chance to be witnesses and a hope that people might listen.
Finally remember this: “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” – Daniel 2:21 (KJV)
What do you believe about respecting authorities?