By Jeff Burr
If you are overly joyful or overly disappointed following Tuesday’s election, you have probably put too much stock in a human leader. God’s purposes are not thwarted by conservatives or liberals. The church functions under the banner of the cross, and the gospel has the power to do what no president or human government ever could. Don’t stoop to rely on a lesser power.
The election is now in the rearview mirror and there are a variety of responses to our president elect. Some are marching in protest or launching verbal grenades via social media. Some are threatening to move out of the country. In the midst of the hostility and emotion, the Bible has some explicit instruction that should shape our response to whoever holds the office of president.
- Submit – Romans 13:1–7 – Whatever grievances you have, get over it. Fall in line. Pay your taxes. Show respect. All human authority has been established by God. And when you rebel against human authority, you are rebelling against God, and that is a foolish and futile response.
- Demonstrate Grace – Titus 3:1–5 – This text goes further to say that we should be gracious, peaceful, civil, and courteous in relationship to governing authorities. We are “to speak evil of no one.” It is never appropriate to make fun of or belittle a president by means of jokes or memes. Unbelievers are disobedient and marked by hate. But our treatment of others should be shaped by God’s treatment of us.
- Pray – 1 Timothy 2:1–4 – There are a variety of things we might pray for the president (e.g., wisdom, protection, salvation). But the emphasis here is that we should pray for them because of how it impacts us. We should pray “so that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life.” Prayer helps us to cultivate a proper posture toward authority.