Ifs and Buts

Proverbs 24:21-22 — 21 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders; don’t be defiant or mutinous. 22 Without warning your life can turn upside-down, and who knows how or when it might happen? (MSG)

We do not have to be openly defiant to disrespect God or the leadership He has established. Before I further explore this truth, allow me to clarify something. When we dishonor any earthly authority—parents, bosses, government leaders, coaches, pastors, etc.—we dishonor God. It doesn’t matter whether the person is godly or not.

Perhaps you currently lack respect for a certain leader in your life. You may not demonstrate your contempt for all to see, but your behavior privately is just as important as it is publicly.

You don’t have to stand in a picket line or lead a revolt to directly oppose someone in leadership. Rebellion originates in your thoughts. Many times the enemy tries to plant “ifs” and “buts” in your mind. If you do not take unruly thoughts captive, the birthing of insubordination begins.

You will start thinking things such as, “If my pastor would just visit me more often, then I’d respect what he teaches,” or “If politicians were not so crooked, then our country would not be going down the toilet.” Many people reason, “I know I should work harder, but I don’t agree with how my boss runs things.” These mindsets dishonor God, and they can dominate your life.

Once rebellion is established in your mind, your words and actions will follow suit. Even if your feelings are founded on truth, dishonoring authority is sinful. If you have a difficult time submitting to a particular leader in your life, I encourage you to develop a greater fear of God. You cannot properly honor anyone else if you are not totally submitted to Him.

1 Peter 2:13 — Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution (NASB).

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