When Authorities Clash
Bible Reading: Titus 3:1-2
Remind your people to submit to the government and its officers. Titus 3:1
Check out these statements. Which slip out of your mouth easily?
“I’m so glad the police caught me throwing snowballs at cars!”
“I’m totally happy my parents figured out I’ve been shoveling all my stuff under my bed instead of actually cleaning my room.”
“I’m truly grateful that I got caught swiping answers off the math whiz who sits next to me.”
“I sure am glad my mom makes me eat brussels sprouts.”
“I wish the principal would call me down to the office and give me detention more often.”
Most of us squirm when someone in charge of our life lays down a rule we’re forced to follow—or catches us doing what we shouldn’t. But most days we probably also admit that authorities—people like police, principals, parents, and teachers—usually act for our good.
Take this example: When you were a tiny tyke, your parents knew it would be nuts to give you everything you wanted. You begged for cake and ice cream at every meal. You dug in the medicine cabinet. You refused to buckle up in the car. And maybe you insisted on playing with steak knives. Your parents didn’t love you any less by saying no to all those requests and requiring that you bend to their wishes. Whether you understood it or not, they had your best interests at heart.
The Bible challenges you as a Christian to show love for leaders by submitting to their authority, whether that leader is the head of your home or the head of your country. Peter wrote, “For the Lord’s sake, accept all authority—the king as head of state, and the officials he has appointed” (1 Peter 2:13).
God’s command to obey authorities is not meant to make you miserable. Paul wrote, “‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘you will live a long life, full of blessing’” (Ephesians 6:2-3).
Doing us good is a promise God seems to fulfill not just when we obey parents, but whenever we submit to the authorities he puts in our life. Count on it!
TALK: Parents, can you think of a time when obeying an authority paid off—maybe unexpectedly? What did you think of what you were being required to do? How did obeying benefit you?
PRAY: God, strengthen us to make right choices—especially when it comes to obeying the authorities you put in our life for our protection.
ACT: Are you rebelling against authority in any area of your life? Take steps today to obey!