“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.”
Politics is a divisive subject. It always has been, but it seems to be even more so today than ever. The United States is deeply divided between party lines, and those caught in the middle are forced to pick a side. Either way, there are issues. Each side has its merits and its downfalls. Neither is perfect. Neither is the “Christian” party. This, however, isn’t a call for a political boycott. It’s not a call for political reform, even. It’s a reminder of who you are and where your loyalty should lie as a Christian.
Paul reminds us earlier in the book of Philippians that we are citizens of heaven, not of any country on Earth. But here in Romans he talks about being subject to the government of our earthly residence. Why? Well the truth is, whether we like it or not and whether it’s easy or not, we have a calling to live blamelessly and peacefully. We may not like who is in charge, but we respect their authority and follow their laws – unless they go directly against God. We live peacefully and we do not do anything to draw the ire of anyone if we can help it.
This is different than living for man’s approval. We certainly don’t live and behave with the goal of being loved by the world. But we also don’t intentionally act in a way that draws scorn from the world. The goal is always to bring glory to God in every way. As a Christian, you are an ambassador for Christ, you represent him with your own life. Therefore, we must live as Christ lived, in submission to the proper authorities, with respect to the proper authorities, and in full devotion to God.
It can be hard to follow a leader that we don’t agree with or don’t like. It can be hard not to idolize leaders that we do agree with. I pray that we will not fall prey to either trap, but instead that we will remember that our citizenship is with you in heaven. Help us to respect, honor, and obey the proper authorities, but always honor and obey you first and above all.
In Jesus’ Name,