Believers and the Government

November 23, 2021

Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:1-3 NLT

When we see a concept with which we don’t agree in Scripture, it’s easy to pass it off as solitary and therefore inconsequential. While we could be tempted to do this with a situation as touchy as submitting to authorities, all you have to do to see that it is more than one or two verses is google “Scripture about submission to authorities.” Submission is the tone of God’s Word. We see this concept not only in the Old Testament but also in the New Testament under the new covenant. Through the words of Jesus, Paul, Peter, James—all the leaders—we learn that Jesus-followers behave and respond differently.

Paul wrote Titus, a young leader in the church, about the way to train and lead believers in the church. They were just like us—faced with the challenges of following Jesus when many authorities in their lives were not committed to Jesus and didn’t even show any interest in Him. Some authorities were even hostile to their faith. But the guidelines centered on the believers, not on their authorities. They (and we, by extension) are instructed to behave in these ways:

  • Submit to the government and its officers.
  • Be known for obedience.
  • Develop a reputation for doing good.
  • Refuse to slander (talk badly about) anyone. (Yes, that’s ANYONE.)
  • Avoid quarrelling.
  • Be gentle and truly humble to everyone. (Yes, that’s EVERYONE.)

If these leaders were writing to us today, they would update this for our culture. They would remind us that these guidelines go for social media, phone calls, in-person, and virtual. What would change about my conversation, my posts, my blogs, my attitude—everything? What would change if I remembered that God and the world reads my response to authority as my response to Him?

  • Holy Spirit, you know I am a great excuse-maker. Please tackle me when I do and say things that do not represent You well. I want to work with You to bring my attitude and actions into line with Your heart. I start by submitting to You. Here’s my heart, my mind, and my mouth. Amen.