“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” (1 Peter 2:13-15 NIV)
I’ve come to realize that the older I become, the more opportunities I have to choose to submit myself to someone. These verses have been heavily on my mind with the upcoming elections. First, I’m not here to talk politics. (I never took American government so…yeah.) But what’s interesting to me with a cursory glance at my Facebook feed, is how sometimes you can’t tell the Christ-followers apart from the rest based on what they post regarding authority.
In a world as divided as ours, it’s hard to imagine God’s plan. Yet here it plainly says to submit yourself for His sake to every human authority. Does that mean those who are corrupt? Those who are ignorant? Those who know less than you?
This is a struggle for me. I’ve often wondered what it means to submit; if the word in Aramaic or Greek is different from what my NIV Bible is showing me. (Sadly, it’s not.) To submit is to subject or yield to another. It’s so easy to press that share button, or to disagree. Perhaps I’m not outwardly disrespectful, but my attitude inside may be otherwise.
I hear and read so often the disrespect for authority in all forms. But as a Christ-follower I know this little thorn of a verse exists. So when I don’t agree with the rules or the beliefs or the person, I have to believe that choosing to do good and submitting respectfully will have an impact, somewhere, somehow. Choosing to do good is as much an inward attitude as it is an outward gesture.
For example, I for one am choosing to stay away from sharing political posts either for or against whoever is in charge—or will be in charge. Chances are I’m doing it to be snarky, rather than respectful. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you try to make it plain “by doing good” that you’re a Christ-follower.
Miel can be reached via email here.