Respect is something the Lord asks us to give to our rulers and authorities whether they deserve it or not!
29:18 Where there is no revelation [Christian example], people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
Paul’s letter to Titus brings bad breaks for bureaucrat bashers. Here’s what he told Titus:
3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
This passage doesn’t leave a lot of room for debate. I reckon the best place to start is by not talking judgmentally about them. We can respectfully disagree with their policies and decisions, but when it comes down to it, we are to be obedient. Of course, our first allegiance is to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Everything else is subject to respect and obedience. How else can God show Himself mighty if we don’t allow Him room to move?
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
What we need to remember is that we all start out facing the darkness. We all need Jesus. We would do well to consider every person, “good or bad,” as a prospective–even future–sibling in Christ and one of His sheep for whom He died and is in the process of searching for them.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
The key words in this passage are “kindness,” “love,” “saved,” and “mercy.” Remember that Christ forgave His executioners, both physical and political; we, too, are forgiven, restored, and remade in His image through His kindness, love and mercy. There are three metaphorical terms used, as well. They are “washing,” “rebirth,” and “renewal.”
- Washing- We are washed by His blood and made clean, not just covered.
- Rebirth- Jesus gives us the opportunity to start over with Him. With the acceptance of the Holy Spirit, we are awakened spiritually and it’s as if we are “born again.”
- Renewal- Our relationship with the Father is renewed. Another word is restored. In fact, our relationship with the Trinity has moved to a higher dimension. He now lives with us in close communion all the time. He has removed our blinders and we see Him with spiritual eyes and hear Him with spiritual ears.
8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
We are to devote ourselves to doing what is good. If we confine “good” to this chapter, we know exactly the “good” we are supposed to do: Be subject (respectful) and obedient to rulers and authorities, slander no one, be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. When we are successful in these areas, we are different from the world (see verse 3) and draw great attention to Christ. We are the aroma of Christ to the world (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). Seeing people as He sees them is, indeed, seeing them in a different light–His light!
Abba, please open our eyes to Your beautiful truth. You love everyone! May we spread Your fragrance to everyone around us, even the “unlovable”–especially the “unlovable!” Amen.