Last night I watched in utter dismay as the United States House of Representatives approved the much debated health care reform bill by a vote of 220 to 215. I went to bed fretting about this. I adamantly oppose this bill for many reasons, but most notably the proposition that abortions could be paid for with taxpayer money. This fact alone makes me want to see the whole thing sent back to the drawing board and re-written so that abortions cannot be covered by taxpayer monies, and that the provision for that can never be added in at a later date. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how this Christian has come to terms with what is going on in Washington D.C.
This morning in church, we heard a message on patience and suffering. I went back to re-read some of the scripture in 1Peter chapter 2 and this is what I read:
13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
16Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
17Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
19For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
20For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in politics and be angry or pleased with the outcome of whatever the hot button issue of the day is. It’s even easier to gloat when things go the way you want, or the way you think it should be. We live in such a sports crazed world…it’s not a wonder we hoot and holler when we “win” something political.
The verse above spoke volumes to me, especially “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority…” It’s our duty, as Christians, to submit to whatever leadership is in place, regardless of whether we agree with the policies or not. This pleases God, because all those in leadership are there because God placed them there. And if while they are there, it causes me to suffer, or to be discontent, then I need to do so in silence. Yes, I know, we live in the United States of America and I, too, have a voice. And I exercise that voice. I vote. I debate the issues. I learn about them to reach educated conclusions. But once it’s all said and done, it then becomes time for me to sit down. It becomes time for me to enter into a time of prayer for those that are in leadership. It is NOT a time for me to complain, or to spew my anger, the venom of Satan.
I am in no way suggesting that as American Christians we should remain silent on issues we are passionate about. But there comes a time when the talking, and the debating, and the arguing, and the anger and the gloating need to subside and the prayer needs to begin.