Sitting in the hospital waiting room, my son and I were scanning through an old edition of Reader’s Digest when we found this story. It’s not word for word but you will get the idea…
“Driving down the road the other day, I noticed the traffic cam flash my picture. I knew I wasn’t speeding so I went around the block and drove through the intersection a second time. Sure enough, the camera flashed again. Bureaucracy at its finest! I was getting a good chuckle so I drove through the intersection three more times.
The following week, I received in the mail, five tickets citing me for failure to wear a seat belt!”
Isn’t it funny how we sometimes think we’re having one over on the ‘powers that be’? “No one is watching or if they are, they can’t really see what I’m doing.” Just like small children, adults are prone to testing to see just how much they can get away with bending/breaking the rules.
Scripture is so clear on this subject.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
As Christians, do we trust God to put the right people in places of authority in our lives? This extends past our members of government and also includes our parents, employers and elders at church. Trusting God for leadership in our lives is tantamount to our obedience. It is easy to point fingers and criticize but I suggest that praying would be more effective.
We have a friend who consistently calls the Prime Minister by his title. Not ‘Stephen Harper’, not ‘that jerk in Ottawa’, not ‘that guy who whatever, whatever, whatever’. It is always, Prime Minister Harper. He is showing respect for the position the Lord GAVE to the leader of our country. This same man has never – at least not in my presence – uttered a negative word against ANYONE! How many of us can say that?
Jesus said: “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned”
Today’s challenge: Pray for someone in authority in your life today. Conquer the impulse to point the finger and trust the Lord to be the reigning authority in your life.