Faith & Insight: Submit to authority
I once had a job where I felt my boss hated me. It was rough every day just going to work and then all day long I’d struggle with a bad attitude. I was young and had a young family at the time so I felt trapped. Somebody with a little wisdom shared with me I should pray for my boss. I thought he was crazy, this guy hates me and is constantly belittling my work and makes me feel terrible every day. So this friend reminded me Jesus said we should pray for our enemies. I guess he wasn’t so crazy after all.
So I began getting to work about 15 minutes early and praying for my boss before I went in. I prayed for God to bless him and his family. I prayed he would be recognized for his hard work and receive praise from his boss. Finally, I prayed God would change my heart about my boss and let me see him as someone who needs Jesus just like me.
Over the next couple months things started changing. Suddenly his boss started talking to me and recognizing my work. Next thing you know I was promoted to a position where I was my former boss’ equal and no longer had to work under him. I thought my prayers were for my boss, but actually they were for me. My attitude changed and I received God’s blessing.
You see God doesn’t give us the leaders we want. He gives us the leaders we need. In Romans Chapter 13 Paul talks about how we all should “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.”
This principle goes beyond our employers. It’s important for the family structure children respect their parents. Our governing authorities are established by God as well. We need to submit to our government and the rule of law. We may not always like who’s in power or the current law, but they’re there because God has decided we need them at this time.
God is in control. It may seem like the whole world is falling apart around you, but God is in control. If you’re unhappy with your employer, if you feel your parents haven’t lived up to their side of the deal, or if you’re not particularly fond of the current governing authorities then you have some people to pray for. Be respectful, submit to their authority and pray for them. Start taking time to pray for those God has put in a position of authority over you and see how it will change your heart.
Captain Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St. Carson City, NV 89701. For information go to carsoncity.salvationarmy.org.