13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.
I think at times Australians struggle with authority. Maybe foundations from the convict heritage makes us suspicious and questioning. At times we find ourselves questioning authority or possibly rebelling against authority. Even children, so quickly learn the word “NO”. Why is this?
I believe that it is good to “test” things. I believe that God wants us to ask for wisdom and insight into peoples’ motives and it is ok to question. However, if those in authority are there caring and governing us with the right motives it is good for us to honour them. God has designed people to lead and others to follow.
God’s way is “servant leadership”. Politicians are known as “public servants”. They are there to serve the people. Pastors and leaders are there also to serve the people. We are all to be servants. Ultimately, we will one day stand before Jesus and give an account of our lives and the motives behind what we have done. Our model is Jesus. He encourages us to obey, to do what is right and good leadership will honour us. Jesus was the “servant King”. He showed us what it was to be in leadership, and He modelled servanthood and sacrifice. Do you want to be a leader? It all begins with servanthood. Doing what a leader asks you to (as per the Bible) with a cheerful heart. Be sacrificial and honour will come.
Lord, help us to serve you with the right heart. We want to be like you. We thank you for modelling to us servanthood and sacrifice. Help us to model that to others. Amen
Written by Ps. Sue Botta