One thing I find quite easy to do is to have a murmuring and ungrateful attitude toward those that have been placed in authority over me. Somehow they just never seem to do their job the way that I think they should. But as I judge them, there is one thing that I always forget to do, or not to do. Actually, there are a couple things!
One would be that the Bible tells me to “Judge not” (Matt 7:1), and another is a lack of self-examination. These two are actually tied together, because when I judge another person, many times the very thing that bothers me about them, I am doing myself. I have found this to be true often.
As I observe the actions and conduct of my authorities that may seem unjust, my job is to first examine myself, and see if I am doing anything that merits the Lord’s judgment of placing such a leader over me. God has ordained that this authority is to be placed over me (See Rom 13:1), so I can know that God has a purpose and place for such an authority over me.
However, what should be done when the authority’s actions and policies seem unjust? Personally, my tendency would be to bring about justice by force. However, in the book of Romans it says “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Rom 12:19). I do not have to worry that any act of injustice will go unpunished, because “everyone will receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor 5:10). That man is still accountable to God. (See Rom 14:12)
Any lack of innocence in our own heart cannot be hid from the Lord by a blanket of blame directed at another person. But if our state is truly pure before the Lord, and our actions are not that of the type that “call” for the wrath of God to be poured upon us, then there is another factor to consider. Paul states that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim 3:12). As we draw closer to Jesus, and take on His likeness, this will cause opposition to rise against us; even to the point of persecution. This, most likely, will come at the point when we, as Christian cannot obey the laws set forth by our authority due to its violation of God’s Word. When the laws of the land have been brought to that point, we must say with Peter, “we ought to obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29b). (See also Acts 4:19-20.) Peter also said, “but if ye do well, and suffer for it, . . . this is acceptable with God” (I Peter 2:20b).
We should purpose, therefore, to follow in the steps of Jesus, who did not come to overthrow the world’s current government, but to bring the message of true freedom. He always spoke the truth, even though He was despised for it; and He loved the world so much that He died for us, though He was abandoned by all but a few when He did.
~ Brandon Keilen