Read 1 Peter 2:11-25
There are two things that people tell you not to mention unless you want intense responses from people…
Religion and Politics.
It seems like nothing instills quite a sense of passion and bitterness than when you bring either of these topics up in today’s world.
I have a rather complicated relationship with politics. Don’t get me wrong, I have very clear convictions and that shows through how I vote. However, when politics get involved, I immediately shut down, similar to when people talk about math and numbers.
To me, it seems like politics has become more of who or what we are against rather than who or what we are for. Political commercials seem to be geared towards how terrible their competitor is rather than what they, themselves, bring to the table. I know, for a fact, that this isn’t true, but it appears that the bickering seems to be all that they do.
Can we all just come together and fight for a better America rather than tear it down from the inside out?
It’s not that easy.
The Bible is very clear with how a believer should respond to those in authority:
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.”
We are to deliberately place ourselves under the authority of those in authority over us, FOR THE LORD’S SAKE, regardless of if we agree with them or if they even deserve it.
This means that we are to honor, to hold in high regard, those in authority. Paul takes it a step further in his letter to the Romans:
“Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”
If you reject or resist the authority that God Himself has put in place, not only are you rejecting the authority of political officials, but you are rejecting the authority of God Almighty.
Do you really want to be doing that?
So, how do we live lives of integrity according to our reading today?
Honor those in authority and respect those who we don’t believe deserve respect.
We all have work to do with this.
This reading is tough but I challenge you, more than ever, to open your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of any place where you have fallen short.
It’s okay to not be okay but not okay to stay that way.
What if, instead of tweeting and posting against political officials, you prayed for them?
What if, instead of berating those who don’t agree with us, we loved them instead?
“Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God…”
Do people see how you live your life, how you treat those in authority over you, and glorify God as a result?
Friends, we cannot afford to turn people off to Jesus through how we react to authority. We need to be better.