“Obedience alone gives the right to command.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Romans 13:1-7
I Timothy 2:1-4
Matthew 8:8-10

I remember vividly one scenario where I witnessed the transformation of the citizenry and its view of presidential authority. The internship I mentioned earlier started in January of 1981. As I helped plan the National Prayer Breakfast, our small staff was given a tour of the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.

One part of this tour stood out to me. It was the receiving area where the president could have private conversations with VIPs before entering the 3,000-seat International Ballroom.

One thing in particular caught my attention. It was a private door, unmarked, on the outside of the hotel, which led to the reception area. It seemed plain, especially since the President made his entry across an open sidewalk and in the door. I mostly forgot about my impression until two months later, on March 30, 1981.

A group of us was working in the inner city, doing much-needed rehab work on inner-city housing. On the way home one day, we heard over the radio that President Ronald Reagan had just been shot at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

My mind darted back to the memory of my tour there. I could envision exactly where it happened. What I found most interesting, though, was the way the episode crystallized Americans’ love for this president. Friends of mine who considered Reagan unworthy of the presidency, suddenly developed a certain respect for him.

The President was rushed to the nearest hospital, where he was operated on and began his slow recovery. One of his White House staff, Press Secretary James Brady, had actually been hit by one of the bullets in his head. His life was in jeopardy.

Both recovered, but Brady’s brain injury would mark him for the rest of his life. The President seemed to make a full recovery in the months that followed.

We love some of our leaders, and others we don’t. What fascinates me is how we decide whether someone is a “good” leader or a “bad” leader. It may have to do with their views, with their race, or their family connections, or their political party.

The Scriptures instruct us to honor those in authority, whether they are popular or not. We are commanded to pray for them, whether we like them or not, whether we agree with their platforms or not. We are told by Paul to pay them taxes, revenue and respect. Then we shall live in peace.

How do we think about people in leadership?
Do we pray for them?
When is it admissible to rebel against authority?


© Revolworks 2019