Friday, October 11, 2013

Honor and obey them anyway

Romans 13:4
Proverbs 16:10-15
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I've been brainwashed. Passages like these bring to mind first and foremost "kings" like Hitler, Stalin, Nero, and other infamous rulers who did not establish justice or protect the innocent. I want to use their mismanagement of power as justification for judging the validity of each rule that governs my life and feeling free to ignore all the ones I disagree with. The reality is that Paul is speaking to people who were familiar with unjust rulers and he still told them to honor and obey them. Kings and others in authority over us are imperfect humans, yet they have been entrusted by God with their power. They haven't risen to power without reason.
How much do I believe this? I struggle. I know enough about history to realize how often kings fail at administering justice. I've been taught to distrust authority. I've been conditioned to expect the worst of those who rule. So I choose to believe that rulers are in their position of authority as God's servants although I may wish to believe something quite different. And I know that their decisions which affect me are for my good (Rom 8:28) even if they intend for them to destroy me. They will never have any power over me which isn't allowed by God so He must want me to submit to their authority even when I would prefer not to.
Linked with Fellowship Friday

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