For The Lord's Sake--by Kimberly B. Southall

The Bible teaches us to show proper respect to those in authority and others:

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men . . . Show proper respect to everyone . . . 
–1 Peter 2:13, 17 NIV

Respect means “to feel or show honor for.”  Respecting others is usually not difficult.  But did you know that you are to show respect for those in authority even when they are wrong, don’t act properly, or don’t deserve it?  Yes, it is true.   Why?  Because you will set a good example for others.  If you didn’t show respect, you might cause others to think badly of God because of your behavior.  Please understand that showing respect does not mean that you have to blindly follow an order if you know it is the wrong thing to do.  Even adults worthy of our respect can be mistaken.  However, when you believe someone is wrong, you can still avoid being disrespectful by calmly and politely explaining your belief or side to them.

Another necessary part of showing proper respect to those in authority is to follow their laws and rules:

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
–Titus 3:1-2 NIV

“To be subject” means to be under the power or control of another.  “To be obedient” means to do or be willing to do what one is told to do.  Therefore, we can see from the above scripture that God expects us to follow the laws and rules of those in authority, even if the rules don’t always make sense to us.  This includes rules at home, school, and everywhere else.  If your parents have a rule not to put your feet on the coffee table, then God expects you to keep your feet off.  If your teacher has a rule for you not to chew gum in class, then God doesn’t want you to chew gum in class.  If there is a rule posted at the public swimming pool not to run, then God doesn’t want you to run.  If the library has a rule for everyone to be quiet, then God expects you to be quiet.  If the city has a law for dogs to be on a leash outside, then God expects you to make sure Fido is on a leash when you take him for a walk.  The list could go on, but you can see the point—that God wants and expects you to obey laws and rules.

Always remember that you are serving God when you obey laws and follow rules and when you show respect to your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, principals, babysitters, neighbors, friends, and others.  Do it for the Lord’s sake.

Copyright © 1999 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.