Human beings have a twofold struggle with authority. We do not like to be under authority and we, generally, do not know how to exercise authority in a healthy fashion.
Pride is the operative word here. People want to do what they want to do, the way they want to do it, when and where they want to do it, with whomever they want to do it, for whatever reason they want to do it…and they don’t want anyone telling them otherwise. If it serves their purposes, they will even quote a Bible verse (loosely speaking) to back them up; “The Bible says, ‘Do not judge!'”
In a recent series of sermons entitled, God’s Design for Life on Earth, I have emphasized that an overwhelmingly significant part of life consists of relationships and government (in fact, we are to govern our relationships and many of our relationships are governmental in nature). We must govern our own hearts, minds, emotions, choices and behavior. We either do it well or poorly.
When men and women join together in marriage, our need to govern ourselves heightens as we embrace new roles with increased definition and responsibility. When we read statements like, “the man is the head of a woman” (1 Co.11:3) or “the husband is the head of the wife,” (Ep.5:22), we struggle.
What if we go the next step and a man becomes a father and a woman a mother? These are relational words which refer to another form of government. Whether we do it well or poorly matters. When we read, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” we struggle. A quick evaluation of our current social condition does not produce impressive evidence that we are handling this area of government in an impressive manner. Children are under parental government. When we read, “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things,” we struggle. What has been our track record in this regard?
Consider current attitudes and media coverage regarding the police force. Some earn a corrupt reputation and others are opposed because lawless people want to do lawless things and law enforcement gets in the way.
Sadly, when we arrive at the realm of civil government, the cynicism, corruption and irresponsibility only seems to increase. Human beings struggle with governing and being governed; a bad combination.
The two things I have been accused of most over the years is being too serious and too negative. With that, I quote the apostle Paul; “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self- control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Ti.3:1-5).
Fortunately, we also read:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this” (Is.9:6-7).
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