There is no question emotions run high when a new President is elected. Some are ecstatic that “their man” was chosen for the highest office in the land while others bemoan the idea of spending at least four years under someone they vehemently disagree with on issues that are close to their heart. I’m writing this on election night not knowing (but pretty confident) who our next President will be and wanted to share that regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit, if you are a Follower of Jesus we are called to one common response – earnest respect for the office of the Presidency and heartfelt prayer for the next Commander-In-Chief.
1 Peter 2 encourages the church to represent themselves well before those who are far from God. One of the ways we do that is by honoring the authority God has established in this world and that very much includes the person at the top of the political org chart in America. 1 Peter 2:13-15 reads:
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
Followers of Jesus reflect God’s goodness and glory best not when they fuss about how many states went “red” or “blue” or complain to their co-workers how lousy of a man is the President-elect, but when they speak and live in a manner that displays respect for the President…whomever he may be. When we do that we are paying homage to the goodness of the general grace of God in his ordering of this world. Thus, however our emotions move us tomorrow morning, the tone and manner of our life for the day and every day after that should heed the words of 1 Peter 2:17 when it says, “Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
For me, I will begin tomorrow morning checking the news for the obvious. Then I will spend time in prayer for the one who has been chosen by the majority to lead our nation. I think that will help my heart put its best foot forward in “honoring the emperor” not merely for the emperor’s sake, but for my Lord’s.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions,
that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.”
– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (ESV)