Romans 13:1, 7
Well, are you sick of it yet? All the political advertising and the mudslinging that goes on this time of year? Especially an election year? Just the other day. Not my mailbox and I must have pulled out nearly a half dozen political fliers. I was a little disheartened to see that most of them were negative. They didn’t speak positively about their candidate and his or her plans, but they only were mudslinging trying to soil the reputation of the person that they’re running against. Trying to demonize them so that you would vote for them instead.
A big question for us to think about, especially during this election cycle, is what if our candidate doesn’t win? Will we still give them (the winner) honor and respect? There’s probably some of us I would say “No, I would never do that!” Maybe resist at all cost honoring and respecting somebody that I didn’t vote for, somebody that’s completely the opposite of who they thought should have been in power or control.
In Romans chapter 13 God tells us this
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities. For no authority exists except by God, and the authorities that do exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1)
It reminds us that the authorities that exist, he’s put them in place. In fact he goes on to call them his servants. One of the purposes God has given us our governing authorities for is especially to maintain a civil society. We think of the tremendous benefits that come from that.
We are reluctant, I think at times, to give honor and respect to those that we disagree with or those that we don’t like. In fact we’ve probably gone too far sometimes, and even have sinned because of the way that we have acted or the things that we have said about our rulers that God has placed in authority.
Thankfully, God has given us a Savior. A Savior, Jesus, who himself obeyed the authority perfectly. Obeyed them even when they weren’t so perfect in their own words and actions. The Savior went to the cross to pay for all of our sins including our disobedience. Our disobedience not just to the authority but to God who gave us those in authority. That same God now invites us to respect and honor those he has put in place. He encourages us again and Romans Chapter 13
Pay what you owe to all of them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, and honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:7)
We desire to do this not because they’re perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but because they are God’s gifts to us for our good. Let us pray.
Dear Lord God, we ask that you continue to provide us with leaders who take seriously the work that you have placed under their authority. Help us to respect and honor them, even if our candidate doesn’t win. May they carry out your work according to your will. Amen.