Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in January, 2017. Celebrations lasted from January 17-21, but not all were celebrating. Several performers declined invitations to perform at his inauguration. Nearly 70 Democratic Representatives refused to attend. And over 200 protesters were arrested for acts of vandalism.
Yesterday was Election Day. Not all will celebrate this election either. Do you realize there’s more than a 50% chance the candidate you voted for WON’T become President? It doesn’t help that nobody knows how long it will take to declare a winner! The next few days (or weeks) will be a time of anxious waiting for our country.
As we wait for votes to be counted, I suggest we prepare our hearts. You might not like how this election turns out. Your candidate might not be chosen. Even so, your attitude toward the President matters to Jesus.
Americans tend to harbor bad attitudes toward the President. We view opposing candidates as our enemy. Even if our candidate wins, our attitude changes during their term. We go from steadfast supporters to relentless critics. Even Christians feel entitled to slander the President.
This is to our shame. The Bible expects us to have a godly attitude toward the government. The ungodly attitude of many Christians is eroding our influence in America. Like it or not, your attitude toward the President is part of your discipleship to Jesus.
A Biblical Attitude
Paul explains how we ought to relate to the government: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). Government is a God-ordained institution. We honor Him by placing ourselves under their authority.
Paul continues, “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:6-7). It displeases God when we disrespect the President. He expects us to honor and appreciate the leaders of our nation.
He also wants us to pray for them. Paul asks “that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made…for kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We ought to pray for our new President and ask God to give him discernment to lead our nation wisely.
There are exceptions, however. There are things God has not granted to worldly governments. One is obedience to them above obedience to Him. The government can’t ask us to break God’s laws. If they do, it is appropriate for us to disobey. This is especially true if they are hindering the work of the gospel (Acts 5:29).
Neither can the government demand our worship. The Roman emperors required their subjects to worship them, and the early church rightly refused. North Korean Christians are in the same situation today.
Why It Matters
Your attitude toward the President matters. In fact, it is an important part of your discipleship. Jesus calls us “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14). He wants us to sanctify our country by seasoning and illuminating it with the gospel.
It is vital that we regain our influence. Our nation needs us to be its conscience and pray on its behalf. But we will not regain an ounce of influence while harboring an ungodly attitude toward the government. Do you honestly think people will respect us if we refuse to respect the President?
Feel free to share this post or leave a comment!
Subscribe to receive new posts!