Why We Should Respect Authority (Whether We Agree with Who's In Power or Not)

Monday, February 20, 2017

For the past few months, EVERYTHING on social media has pretty much revolved around politics. Who's more awful, more racist, uncaring, less genuine, less trust-worthy, etc. Many people were unhappy about the presidential candidates and unhappy with the election results.

Believe me, I get it! I was never a fan of either candidate, and I don't particularly love our new president. But you know what is driving me completely nutsy now? The fact that no one seems to know how to have any respect anymore.

I am well-aware that this will probably be my least-popular post to date, and I am well-aware that I am in the minority on this issue, but since it's President's Day, I decided now would be as good of a time as any to make the following statement:

If you are a Christian who claims to live by the Bible, then you need to be praying for our president and showing respect to our president.




I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't matter what political party you are a part of, or how many things about our president you don't like. If you claim the name of Jesus, then you are claiming to believe Him in all that He says to us, and you are claiming to attempt to live by what He says.

And do you know what He says about those who are in leadership? 

Do we really have to respect authority even if the one who's in charge is awful? Even if we feel physically sick over the election results?


Daniel 2:20-21
 “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,         For wisdom and power belong to Him.It is He who changes the times and the epochs;         He removes kings and establishes kings;         He gives wisdom to wise men         And knowledge to men of understanding."

Romans 13:1
 "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."
1 Peter 2:13-14
 "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right."
 1 Peter 2:18-20
"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For 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."

As Christians, we believe that God is always in control. He isn't pacing the floors of Heaven going "Oh crap! What do I do now!" Instead, He's got a plan that goes far beyond anything that we can comprehend.

And the thing that sticks out to me in that truth is this: if God has a plan, and God ordains leaders for particular reasons, should we really be so upset and seething? I get being mad at the deeds of a leader you don't like, or at the injustices of the world- it's a human reaction. I get not liking a person's character or what they stand for. But you know what? Our president is also a human being with a heart, a soul, a need for grace, and a need for love. And no matter how much a person dislikes him, his policies, or anything he has done, God allowed him to be there for a reason.

The very same God that bled out on the cross for YOU and YOUR SIN chose the president. He allowed our president to be in office for a reason. So should you (and me) really be mad? Honestly?

Trump is president, so it's okay to reject authority, right?!

The Other Side of the Coin

Thankfully, just because God allows something to happen, doesn't mean that He calls it "good". God allowed Hitler to become a ruler, but He did not call Hitler a good leader, good person, etc. In the same way, no matter who our president is now, four years from now, or 400 years from now, God is still the one who lets them stand in that position. (*ps- I'm not comparing our president to Hitler*)

God doesn't expect us to agree with our leadership on every little thing. It's okay to stand up for what we believe in and it's okay to think a leader is wrong on issues or as a person.

But here's what's NOT okay:

Constantly brooding over who the president is
Calling him vulgar names
Calling those who voted for him vulgar names
Causing violent protests
Cheering on other people who are spreading hate, dissension, violence, etc.
Assuming the worst about every single thing the president does
Assuming the worst about those who voted for him
Acting like you are better than others because of your political stance
Hating our leadership in your heart and wishing evil on them

Really, this list could go on forever. I usually try to keep this blog a positive place and a place free of politics. But I have become so frustrated with Christians acting like the world is ending. I have grown tired of Christians who act like Trump is God (what the heck, people!), and I have grown tired of Christians pretending it's suddenly okay to act like hate-filled children just because they don't like the president. I'm just tired.

Friends, I agree. There are a lot of things I don't like about our leadership. But I trust God, I trust His plan, and I trust that He has a very good reason for allowing Trump into office.

News Flash for the Masses

Now, for those of you nodding your heads, saying "amen", and silently condemning those who disagree, remember that all that I said above would have still been just as true if Hillary was president right now. You don't get to pick and choose your head-nods and "amens". You either agree with what I just said or you don't.

And for those of you who are fuming over this post, I would simply ask you to consider why you are mad. Are you mad because my argument is unscriptural? Or are you mad simply because you don't like what I'm saying and don't want it to be true?

Ideas for Showing Respect

The truth is, no matter where we stand (left, right, moderate, confused, etc.) if we claim the name of Jesus, we are called to respect those in authority. But how do we go about that when there is so much turmoil? Here's what I believe we can do to respect any authority figure no matter who they are or how bad their behavior is:

-Pray for them, their family, their life, and their soul

-Choose to love and forgive them in our hearts (this doesn't mean we agree with   them, it just means we are choosing to let go of hatred and wishing good things   for them instead).

-Reject and stand against all acts of violence directed towards them

-Refuse to participate in character slander (again, character slander is different  than disagreeing with their policies, stance, or way of life)

-Refuse to assume that all their motives are bad.

-Give them the grace that Jesus has given us


Thank you for sticking with me on this one and reading all the way through. My goal in writing this is not to condemn anyone, but rather to get everyone thinking about how they handle authority.

Even though I used the president as the basis for this post, the things I talked about in this post are true for any authority figure. So whether you are a student and have a teacher you cannot stand, are stuck with a terribly rude and inconsiderate boss, or cannot stand the mayor of your small town- it doesn't matter. These principles apply either way.

So today and always, choose love, choose grace, and choose respect- even for those who just don't seem to deserve it!











Respecting Authority Is Important Regardless of Whether We Like the Person Or Not

37 comments

  1. THIS hits the nail on the head. You verbalized EVERYTHING that I have been feeling about the politics of today too. Kudos to you for being brave enough to share your conviction. It's not an easy thing to write about controversial topics. I know that you will be blessed for doing so though. <3 I, for one, will be reading you a lot more! :)

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    1. It was just such a blessing to have this comment be the first comment I received on this post. I was nervous I was going to get torn apart first thing in the morning, so thank you so much for your sweet comment!

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  2. Thank you for this, Kristin. I think this is very needed right now. We don't have to like or agree with our President (or teachers or bosses) but we do have to respect them. Unfortunately, it's like bitterness. In the end it will only end up eating us up inside, not the other person. I've always respected the Office of the President - no matter who was in there - and always will.

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    1. I don't think think I developed that respect until I met my husband, honestly. My dad has always been one of those people who tends to think that if the president doesn't agree with him, they must want to destroy the country. Fortunately, I have realized that that isn't the case, and I am working on a healthy respect for them.

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  3. Home run! Excellent points that needed to be said and you said it well! Thanks for the conviction and sharing it with others!

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    1. Thank you, Amanda! I really appreciate that. This was a nerve-racking post to write and share!

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  4. Thank you for this! I have had a lot of the same feelings about those in authority - no matter how much I like or dislike them, I pray for them. I recently read the book of Daniel and I think it is a perfect illustration that God is in control but does not condone all behavior. Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Brittany! Yes, I really should have included Daniel in this post. My Nana's favorite book of the Bible is Daniel and she has gained so much wisdom from reading it over and over again.

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  5. It's been really hard to be on social media lately due to all the posts. I'm with you. I'm just tired.

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    1. Absolutely! It's gotten really old, really fast.

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  6. We definitely should be praying for our country's leaders!

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  7. I both agree and disagree with you in this post. I applaud your courage for putting this out there because it's definitely a polarizing subject during a volatile time. I agree with you about praying for our leader but I do not believe that praying for him and respecting the position means that you should quietly accept what's going on. Now more than ever it's important that everyone speak out against injustice and violations of the founding principles of our country. It's a fine line to walk, that's for sure.

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    1. Thanks for commenting on this, Ashley. I appreciate you expressing both sides!
      I think maybe I didn't make it clear enough that I don't think you have to sit back quietly. It's totally okay to fight back! But there is a way to do it and a way not to do it. You can push back hard and still be respectful. You can push back on someone's policies, or even personal qualities without being disrespectful, hateful, or slanderous. And that's why I made the distinction in one of the sections.
      We don't have to sit in a corner twiddling our thumbs. We just need to be mindful in the way we fight back so that we are fighting back while still exhibiting Christ-like character. :)

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  8. Amen, and amen! THIS is what the news media needs to read over the air ways, over and over, thank you so much for voicing the truth! God bless you

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    1. Thank you. Jennifer! I really appreciate that. This was a hard post to write.

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  9. I want to comment on this because I totally applaud you for being able to write such a post! Sharing your own true personal feelings is never easy!

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    1. This was definitely a challenging one to write, Christine. I really appreciate your comment!

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  10. Somebody needed to say it. Good for you for speaking the truth, even when it's not popular. I love your blog!

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I appreciate it!

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  11. My husband and I have been so saddened and disheartened lately by everything that has been going on surrounding this presidency. Thank you for your words Kristin!

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  12. Glad you spoke some truth openly. We find it hard so often to respect "whoever" is in authority when the authority isn't doing things the way we want. I struggled with accepting other presidents at times but like you said, knew that whether it was for destruction or building of the body and the country...God puts kings in place not us. For what reason? We aren't always clear on that, but He has His reasons! I feel truly politics have become a very ugly bought out place and the best way to REALLY make America great again, is to focus on individual freedom no matter who is President. Freedom is messy yes, but we were made to be free and thrive. So my focus this year and all following years is going to be on becoming financially and physically freer than ever, and lifting others up to do the same. I know God wants us to be in good health and prosper, and no matter what happens over the next four years & beyond, receiving that for myself and helping others receive it for themselves is going to be the focus for me. I think people being at that level of freedom, will cause us to rise and fix a lot of problems around us, and no matter who the President is, he is meant to be SERVANT to the people. Not God, not ruler/master, not dictator. People who aren't at the level they were meant to be, can not help maintain the order of government in it's proper place-so it usurps it's order. So we need to focus on building our people and ourselves up, pray for the leaders and trust in God's plan.<3 Great reminder, I think you voiced perfectly how a lot of us feel!

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  13. I will respect his authority and wish him well ,even though I can't stand him....because I DO want what's best for our country. I just wish he showed the same respect to all people.

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  14. YES. YES. YES. "If you are a Christian who claims to live by the Bible, then you need to be praying for our president and showing respect to our president." AMEN. Thank you for speaking up about these issues! I totally would, but don't feel my blog is the place with my focus. But, gosh. You're always hitting it out of the park!

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  15. Yup, I'm with you! I believe the more we dwell on who we don't like, the more anger that stirs in our hearts. It was hard to ignore this election, it was also hard not to pick sides, but when it was over I found myself having to let go of some of it for my own good. I could feel that if I didn't begin to focus solely on God, then I may get too caught up in the negativity. Very good post!

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  16. Very convicting and so well said!! Yes! Thanks for sharing this!

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  17. Beautifully said Kristin. Although I don't agree with nearly anything he stands for, I am learning to make the most of the situation and respect him as a human being.

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  18. Just wanted to respectfully weigh in from a different perspective! I do agree with you that a majority of the time, we should respect the people who are given positions of authority within our society because they won it via our pre-agreed-upon democratic process. However, I do think that it's important to recognize when morality becomes more important than the rules, because they won't always be the same. I think that situations are going to come up across the world where our role as moral human beings - no matter our religion - could become more important than our role as citizens of a particular country. If we see situations where power is being abused or corrupted, I do think that our better natures should compel us to do whatever we can in our daily lives to either not comply or to stop it from happening. I think a perfect example would be the Europeans who sheltered their Jewish neighbors throughout World War II because it was the right, moral, human thing to do, even though it was highly illegal. I agree with you that divisiveness for the sake of divisiveness is unhelpful, but I do think that all movements for the greater good do come with a teaspoon of divisiveness in the beginning - so everyone should definitely keep their eyes open and their brains powered up so watch for chances to help each other out as fellow humans! <3

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    1. Robin, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. That is a good point! My husband's grandmother was one of those Europeans who took in Jews. Her dad was part of a group against Hitler who took in Jews in their homes (so cool!), and I totally agree. When we genuinely believe that something has gone terribly wrong, we should stand against that.
      But even in those moments, we can still avoid hatred. It is totally possible to both stand strong without spouting words of hatred and slander (ie- curse words, harsh, unnecessary words, etc) about Trump or those who voted for him. So I would just say that if someone is standing up for morality and talking to a Trump supporter, instead of yelling at them that they are biggoted, racist, pieces of trash, a person could calmly but strongly explain their position, which would make a bigger impact anyway. :)

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

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  19. You couldn't have said it any better. God knows what he is doing. You hit some great points on this one and actually read it. No matter who the president is, we can't do nothing about but, to pray. We all might dislike him right not but, the votes are already in. All the hatred we show, we are just acting like him. Showing hate towards the wrong people.

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  20. There have been so many times I've disagreed/not liked authority and I always remind myself of this. God calls me to respect authority, no matter how I feel personally, and to pray authority. I have to say, when I take this approach it's so comforting. I know that God has a plan.

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  21. I'm glad someone has finally said this! There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with whoever is in power, and far too many people are going about it the wrong way.

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  22. Thanks so much for being brave and sharing this!! I agree with you! Enough is enough, we need to model what it means to respect leadership.

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  23. I give you kudos for posting this in a very politically volatile time...it's hard to stand up for your beliefs at times. I don't like watching the news because anything to do with the president or his staff makes me very uncomfortable. I do believe that we need to think of the current situation and think positive thoughts, but sometimes it is hard because it doesn't seem like the president is leading with positive thoughts.

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  24. Yes! We should always respect those in authority no matter the feelings towards that person. Great post!

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  25. Yes we should always respect those in authority... I agree! It was so nasty after the election. People posted the most horrendous things. I saw people end friendships over the election, because one of them voted for the opposite candidate as the other person. So much disrespect from both sides. I don't see it as much now. Thank goodness

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  26. AMEN x a million. Thank you for opening this discussion, Kristin. I totally agree. No matter our thoughts on liking versus not liking someone, we are still called to pray for them. We can pray that they change their actions if we don't like them, but ultimately, we need to be praying for authority that through them, God's will be done!

    Coming Up Roses

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