360. How Are You Walking

man-walking-towards-right-direction_318-44334Romans 13:3-4 MSG  Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear. Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine,  (4)  the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it.

If you’ve ever been driving down the interstate and see a police officer strategically parked off the side of the road watching for speeders looked down to notice that you’re going too fast, you may have gotten a taste of fear as you begin to look in the rearview mirror to see if the officer pulls out to follow you.  Other times you drive by an officer knowing you are at or below the speed limit and feel no anxiety at all.  What was the difference?  Knowing what side of the law you are on.

I know a lot of people that had questionable and dubious pasts who had encountered law enforcement officials on any number of occasions because of poor choices that led to multiple legal infractions.  Even after laying aside their pasts and not violating the law in any way they would still feel have a sense of fear come over them anytime they saw a police officer.  This is bondage.  Thankfully over time, most of them no longer look in the rearview mirror and freak out every time they see a police car.

Though this may not be universally true, because of some poor excuses for law enforcement and those that are abusing power, it is a general truth that those who are obeying the law have nothing to fear of the people appointed to enforce it.  Verse 4 tells us that they are ministers of God commissioned to maintain order and help keep peace.  Paul also tells us that we don’t have to fear unless we are trying to get away with something.  Walk rightly and have no fear.  Walk virtuously and you don’t have to be afraid.

On a side note, this Scripture also teaches us to respect all government officials.  This includes those in law enforcement.  This doesn’t mean that all officers are worthy of respect, but the office they represent is.  It also reminds me that it is our responsibility to pray for the men and women that serve in these capacities.  We should pray for their salvation, safety, and the wisdom to do their jobs.  We should also pray that those not worthy to serve would be removed from service.

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