You ever wonder how a person can respect someone when they constantly treat people bad or hurt people’s feelings? How is it that people who run around with a sense of entitlement get placed in these positions of power only to be self serving and not look out for the best interest of the people that serve them?
Romans 13:1-2 says, “1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (KJV).”
There is a valuable lesson in authority. Whether the person with the authority acknowledges God or not, the source of his power is God. The person who is in authority has a responsibility to God in using their power, whether they want to acknowledge God or not.
We, the subjects of these authoritarians, have a responsibility to power and authority. I can disagree with a higher power, but I still have the responsibility to respect that power because it is God given.
Respect and obedience are two different things even though the outcomes may look the same. I can have a boss who perceives me as a threat and mistreats me because of his feelings. Someone looking from the outside might see my submission to my boss despite the way he treats me and ask, “why are you so obedient to him?”
Obedience is a reaction. Respect is an action. A person can choose respect, but obedience is a reaction — normally to fear. Nowhere in Romans 13:1-2 does it use the word fear. It gives a statement of fact and then behavior that should follow. I want to honor God in everything that I do and I have learned that God places me in positions where I get the honor of showing him how much I want to honor him. That may come in the form of a challenging boss, estranged relationship, dealing with a stranger or challenges within myself. In all cases God has placed me in a situation that I can demonstrate who I belong to and more importantly who I serve.
As a result, I am not a slave to circumstances because I know he is in control of them. I am not oppressed by authority as someone who has no hope and I bow down to no man.
God is supreme and still in control. I am now to live free because I believe this to be true. And how about you dear reader? Are you living this truth or are you a enslaved. Is your hope built on the power of the creator of the universe or are you still trying to sit in that seat yourself? Choose this day who you will serve!