You might say, if anyone had reason to talk badly about the leaders of their nation, would it not be Daniel, the Apostle Paul, and most assuredly, Jesus? Yet, the Bible over and over clearly shows they did just the opposite.
Now we are not talking about the religious leaders, but the national leaders. Daniel was literally taken away captive into a foreign culture, made to learn their history, rules, ways of living; Paul was constantly standing before wicked rulers being beaten near unto death; Jesus suffered and died when He was absolutely innocent. Consider for a moment 1 Peter 2:21-25, 4:1-2, & Philippians 2:5-11.
If you are a Christian, then let Romans 12:9-13:7 be the pattern and branding of your life. Turn your eyes off of this world and onto the risen King Jesus, the one to whom you are professing. I dare say, most of you have more time logged into your phone rather than your Bibles, and certainly more than the time alone with God in drawing close to Him. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
So, do you have more reason to complain, to post hatred, to spout our your opinions about national leaders that Daniel, Paul and Jesus did not have? What rights are you promised as a Christian? Is it not persecution? (2 Timothy 3:12) Is it not to deny yourself, carry your cross and follow after Jesus? (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23) If this is not enough, think of the believer in the 10/40 window and some of the remotest parts of the world, what liberties are they promised?
My whole point here is not to defend government and leaders, this is not even my focus. My point here is for those of us who claim to be Christians, believers, those who have been saved, we are to be a peculiar people, God’s people, stewards of God’s true grace, people who’s focus is to be all about Jesus Christ and this Mighty God who has saved us; and this not in mere terminology nor ideology alone, but in reality, a people marked by grace (see Titus 2:11-15), faith, with a singular focus in knowing (John 17:3, Jeremiah 9:23-24) and walking with our God in truth, power, humility, and a contrite heart.
Take some time, read, ponder, pray through Romans 12:9-13:7. Let this be what people see. If it is not a reality for you, seek God on the matter and His will in your life. Be not of this world, but rather be transformed. (Romans 12:1-2)
Pattern and branding of our life?
- 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
- 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
- 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
- 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
- 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
- 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
- 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
- 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
- 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
- 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
- 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written,“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
- 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
- 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
- 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
- 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
- 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
- 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
- 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
- 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.