Last Friday I was meeting with two of my
colleagues after work. They had had a tough day with seemingly little
support from management, and they felt discouraged. As I was listening
to what they went through, I also became upset at management. Why
couldn't these workers get some support for the problems they were
facing? Before I knew it, I was sharing not only my own negative
opinions about management, but also several ideas of my own regarding
how it could become more effective.
I left work unsatisfied, but soon forgot all about the incident. God had different plans, however. I was tired from all the activities of the week and I fell asleep in bed at 8:00 p.m., only to be awaken at 12:30 a.m.! God had a message for me. The message was as follows:
Rom 13:1-7 "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." NIV
Immediately what happened after work came to mind and I realized I had done wrong! I am to respect management -- and any other authority as well -- for the decisions they make. Who was I to even complain? If I were in their shoes, I probably would have an even longer list of complaints from my workers! It isn't easy to be in charge! There will always be someone who isn't happy about any decision that is made. I needed to apologize! I did it, first thing Monday morning. God gave me the opportunity to do so in front of both of my co-workers at the same time.
Respecting authority shows respect towards God! It shows we trust Him and in Him we confide all of our problems!
But what if the authorities are unreasonable?
Good question. Do you who the emperor of Rome was when the apostle Paul wrote this recommendation?
It was the emperor Nero, the one who sadistically persecuted Christians for burning Rome, when in fact he was responsible for it, himself! The apostle Paul was well aware of the actions of this emperor. However, he still respected his emperor and obeyed him, unless it was in disagreement with God's will!
The devil likes for us to complain about people in authority. This is one the main reason why nobody is respected nowadays, not even God! We complain about our boss. We complain about our taxes. We complain about the road condition. We complain about our president or premier. We complain about our pastor... And as soon as something does not go our way we complain about God! How the devil rejoices over our actions!
But shouldn't we do something if those in authority are abusing their power?
The apostle Paul sure didn't! On the contrary. Here are his encouragements to us who are dissatisfied with our work, rulers and pastors:
Col 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." NIV
Rom 12:19 "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord." Do everything "as working for the Lord".
Give glory to God constantly. You can do this by showing respect to those in authority. And if those in authority abuse their power, one day they will have to answer to God directly! We are responsible for our own actions, not those of somebody else!
Complaining will only distance ourselves from our loving Father and fill our soul with negativity and dissatisfaction. Is it worth it? To the devil it is, but not for the God-fearing Christian. Let us give glory in all things, even by respecting our boss and rulers. 1 Cor 10:31 "So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God." AMP
Will you join me?
In His love,
Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org