Romans 13:1 says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”
A lot of people discount this verse for a whole host of reasons. It makes them uncomfortable. But even though governments are made up of flawed humans who often miss the mark, I think that God values order and justice.
And order and justice fall under the responsibility of our governing authorities.
There are many things that cause me concern when it comes to our governments, but I sure am glad that there are provisions for both order and justice.
Yes, it’s a work in progress. But without them a society descends into chaos and isn’t able to help people flourish.
It makes me think of a man who immigrated to Canada. He wrote “thank you” on every bill he paid, including his tax bills. He remembered being in a country that was wildly oppressive not too long before. So even though there were things about his new government he didn’t like, he was—at the same time—very thankful for what he had.
When he paid his phone bill he wrote “thank you” on the bottom. He did the same with his tax bill. He was thankful that he could vote, that his taxes helped pay for hospitals for his kids, and that his country engaged in peace-keeping missions.
He didn’t agree with everything about his government. But he was happy it provided the framework for order and justice in his new life.
I think our countries are far from perfect, especially on this side of kingdom come. And I think we should advocate for change until the cows come home.
But in the midst, we can be grateful for the goodness we enjoy.
Veterans fought and died. Good people continue to serve and give. There is space to move and air to breathe.
And the flavour of the country you call home continues to be enriched by prayerful, hard-working, and honest people…
just like you.
By Matthew Ruttan