with fear and trembling

I am posting this with fear and trembling.  I know it will be misunderstood.  I know people are going to say all kinds of ugly things to me about this.  But I just feel that now is the time and I need to post it. 

 

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient,
to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one,
to be peaceable and considerate and to show true humility toward all men.
Titus 3:1&2

Something about the structure of this verse really speaks to me.

If you look closely at it there is a progression from simple (and possibly teeth gritting) obedience all the way to a change of heart and mind.

First things first – nowhere does this verse say “only obey laws and rulers if you agree with them”

Now I know that is not going to make me very popular.  But in the wholehearted enthusiasm that Americans tend to have for the campaign season and the creation and destruction of laws and candidates we tend to lose sight of something very important. 

Once the votes are counted, it is time to set aside the differences and work together.

This is not just a civic (and civil) duty…..it is an instruction from GOD himself.

And lest you think that God might not approve of THAT PARTICULAR candidate having won and that gives you a hall-pass so you don’t have to obey…think again. 

God changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Daniel 2:21

So, no matter who wins.  No matter what the temporal laws are, God is the one who put them there.  Yes, we can fight against injustice, but stay within legal boundaries.  Bad laws and poor rulers do not excuse the sin of disobedience. ever.

Ahem.

Back to what I was saying….the structure of this verse moves from teeth gritting obedience, to a change of heart.

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities,

Subject.  This indicates an understanding that we are indeed supposed to obey.  We must think of ourselves not as being above human laws and regulations, but as being subject to the law, just like everyone else.

to be obedient,

here again, obedient.  People who are obedient are not conforming under threat, they obey because they choose to obey.  In order to be called “obedient” you need to display a pattern of regularly obeying.  Sounds obvious, but we tend to want to be called obedient based on a single instance instead of a long term pattern.

to be ready to do whatever is good,

For me this line indicates a mindset that has moved beyond naming names and caring which “party” or stance a particular ruler belongs to or espouses.  Understanding that all good deeds are done for God, no matter who is the earthly leader. So get out there, and do good. 

to slander no one,

if it isn’t campaign season…keep your lips closed firmly over all forms of mud slinging and other hurtful words.  They do no-one any good, and they harm both yourself and your listeners.

to be peaceable and considerate and to show true humility toward all men.

I can’t think of a much greater compliment than to have someone say “I really like being around her, she is just so filled with a sense of calm….peaceful.  You can tell she trusts God”  How many of us can honestly say we have a sense of peace about anything political?

Try this

Trust God.

He is in charge.  He is the one who determines the outcome.  He has a plan.  And He doesn’t make mistakes.  If you disagree with God on who He has allowed to rule in any given span of time, take it up with Him while you continue to obey.

oh and you might try Praying.   Pray for the God who created us all to flood the minds and hearts of the people in power so that no matter who they are, they end up doing what God wanted them to do in the first place.

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2 thoughts on “with fear and trembling

  1. Yes, my sentiments exactly. Everytime someone posts that they don’t know what’s going to happen to this country if said candidate wins, I remind them of Romans 13:1 (KJV)
    [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.]
    Thank you for this!

    Like

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