Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Government...To Respect or Not Respect?

The last few weeks in my Sunday School class we've been studying the issue of What God's Word Says about Morality and Integrity. Last week the issue of "the government" came up and how we are are to be respectful of those who have rule over us as long as their "rules" don't conflict with God's rules.

So we began talking about the word respect and what that looks like, and when I walked out the classroom door I felt like I had touched on one of the most conflicted areas in society today. So I'm asking you today....what does a Christian look like who shows respect for the government? 

I've given some thought to this since our classroom discussion and I came up with a few things that I think make the list:

1. A Christian does not make jokes that make the government look bad

2. A Christian does not talk about governmental leadership in anger, hostility or violence

3. A Christian prays for the government

4. A Christian encourages good decisions

5. A Christian talks about the good things happening in government

6. A Christian talks about issues that concern them to the people who can do something about it....sometimes that means other citizens and sometimes that means calling your government official. 

7. A Christian talks about these issues with firmness but respect

8. A Christian follows the laws...pays taxes, obeys the speed limit, doesn't long as they don't conflict with God's Word. His authority is always supreme.

9. A Christian doesn't overreact or throw a temper tantrum when things don't go their way. They find a way to express themselves in a mature and rational way.

10 Above all, we follow God's rules, act godly and do not sacrifice out testimony for the temporary satisfaction of spewing our opinions and feelings out on a world who ultimately needs Jesus...not government. 

How did I come up with my list....well I know what respect looks like when it comes to my family. I know that as a wife I am to build up and not tear down my husband and that I am to show him respect. I can also go to him with disagreements I have and as long as I am godly in my communication, I can still be respectful. I also know what I expect from my kids. I want them to communicate with me in a manner of respect...I don't want them talking bad about me behind my back or throwing tantrums when things don't go their way. There is a right way for us to discuss things and I will listen to their concerns, but ultimately the decisions lie within the parents power, and I expect them to accept that decision with respect...even when they don't agree. 

By no means am I advocating a Christianity that allows the government to walk all over us. I'm advocating a Christianity that follows God's Word, that is representing to a lost, hell bound world the essentials of Christianity, hope and love and that stands for the things that God stands for....with respect for the governmental authority that God has allowed to be in office....for such a time as this. you have anything to add to the list? Leave a comment and let me know!

1 comment:

Keelie said...

I love your list.

I was reading today where Jesus, knowing he was about to be crucified (talk about being walked all over!), was answering questions of Pilate. As he aswered he remained calm, steadfast and honest. He knew that there was purpose in what was going on and he knew WHO was in control. I think if we remain on mission, stay focused on our purpose--to glorify God, we remember that God is in control and allow him to direct our actions and words.

Along similar lines, I think, I was reminded this week that we can not "save the world." When Jesus died there were still hurting people, sick people, lost people. He fulfilled his purpose anyway. I think we sometimes feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and want to solve every problem(huge social problems, fix the entire government, etc.) and remove every sin that is happening--right now. But that is impossible. We can't do that. We can be obedient and take the next step God puts before us until Jesus returns. Only then will everything be made right.