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Monday, April 27, 2015

Leadership matters....pray for them

There are simply times when I shake my head at the opposition I see to so many of the rulers we have in place around our nation.  People gather on the squares outside legislative halls to protest the rules made, the positions of these rulers on matters they are asked to pass legislation on, and to just plain express their opposition to the rules in general.  It is kind of like a "sport" to them - some being at every protest they can possibly attend - even if it means missing work or leaving some other commitment undone.  I don't even know if they fully understand the "reason" behind their protest as much as they enjoy the "sport" of the protest.  The truth is pretty evident - we will not always share the same opinions as others - especially those in political positions of power and decision making.  To ridicule them or point fingers at them in protest is not an effective means of helping them do their job, though.  In fact, scripture points to quite another answer to the lack of congruence between our opinions and theirs - we are to pray for them. 

Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power. People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. After all, they are God’s servants, and it is their duty to help you. (Romans 13:1-4 CEV)

Above all things, we are to obey those who have been set in places of authority in our lives.  It may be they are our "bosses" in the work environment, or perhaps an elected official occupying an office in our local or national government.  It doesn't matter their "position", we owe this obligation of obedience to them as long as what they ask of us doesn't violate any principle taught to us in scripture.  If they ask for us to engage in actions which violate how it is God asks for us to behave, then we may respectfully "not do" what it is they ask.  For example, if the official asked us to embezzle monies on their behalf, we would know this is in violation of what scripture declares when it tells us to not lie, cheat, and the like.  So, we wouldn't engage in this activity.  We know they are the "boss" or the "ruler", but the action is wrong and we are to respectfully stand up for the principles of righteousness we adhere to.

It should give us cause to pause when we read the reminder God puts these individuals in places of authority.  Even if they aren't the best rulers, God allows them to enter those positions - mostly because people everywhere were demanding their rise to that position.  You see, God often gives us what we ask for and then when things don't go our way, we want to blame God.  The truth be told, we asked for it!  Maybe not us personally, but as a nation, a city, or even a workplace - there was enough support to allow that individual to rise to the position of leadership they occupy.  Therefore, when we oppose their leadership, we are opposing God.  This is not the ground we want to walk upon, is it?

Rulers are a threat to evil people - not good people.  Why?  Good people know there is someone in control of the situation, even when the one in a position of power is not doing exactly what they would want them to do.  They know God is still in charge - he isn't going to leave his people without any help.  Even when Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, he knew God would be there to help him out.  It may have ended in his death, but even in his death, there would have been a tremendous deliverance.  God wasn't going to abandon him, though, and he knew this beyond a shadow of a doubt.  This is what we stand upon when faced with rulers and leaders who just aren't measuring up to the standards we'd hoped they would.  I know that I have been disappointed at times when someone campaigns on one platform, then begins to exhibit quite a different stance once they are in office.  Yet, we elected him/her to the office - so the people now have an obligation to pray for that individual and trust God to give them wisdom, direction, etc.

The main thing is we live right - we don't veer from our convictions and don't throw up our hands in disgust simply because things aren't exactly going the way we'd want them to go.  I think this may also go for how it is we speak of them in our social media feeds, circles of influence, and in the public eye.  We don't tread where they tread everyday, nor do we understand the pressures they face, but we do know the one who can guide their steps and assure we are protected under their care.  Just sayin!