Have you ever had a hard time respecting someone that had authority over you?
I did one time when I worked for a coach at my first school. My first job was not around here, but it was a job. The coach I worked for was determined it was all about winning and making him look good and not the opportunity to teach Life Lessons to our players. I realized early in my career that God had placed me in the best opportunity to reach young men and women. Did I always take advantage of that opportunity……? I wish I could say yes, but there were times when I wasn’t “comfortable” and let the moment slip away. As a first year coach (and a 24 year-old living away from home in a new town not knowing anyone), there were many times I found myself alone. My release was going to school and then practice with my students and players. I loved every one of my players (even the ones that were hard to love). Many times there were situations where I should have stepped in and shared some Gospel, but then the reality of our society saying “you can’t do that at school” creeped into my mind. Sometimes I overlooked that and shared, but many times I went with the flow and let it pass. The more I coached at this school the more I realized that we were missing on opportunities that were presented and instead we focused on the W’s and L’s. This is when I realized that I had lost respect for the head coach, but I was probably losing respect of my players at the same time.
David and King Saul:
God never intended for Israel to have a king, but after they begged for one, He relented. King Saul was chosen by God to lead His people. Things did not end up going so well.
Eventually God appointed Saul’s replacement- a shepherd boy named David.
It would be many years before David became king. In that time, Saul went from David’s caregiver to trying to murder him. David was forced to live a rough life on the run from his king.
One day, Saul enters a cave not knowing that David is hiding in the dark. David finally has a chance to kill Saul and take his place as king of Israel. His friends urge him to go through with it. David does not.
1 Samuel 24: 8-10:
8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ (NIV)
Saul had definitely not “earned” David’s respect. He had lied to him and tried to murder him.
Saul’s chief ambition seemed to be making David miserable. David had never done anything wrong to him, and David still responded the way he did.
David realized it was God’s choice when and how to remove him.
There are times in life when those in authority will make mistakes. Does that mean we don’t have to respect them? No. God is in control. Many times we see our leaders make mistakes or do things we know aren’t right, but we must remember that God is in control and will take care of His people.
He has the power to place people in authority and also remove them.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also unto them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (NIV)
1 Peter 2:17:
“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (NIV)
“Therefore whoever resists the authority’s, resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement.” (NIV)
“Honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as well.” (NIV)
By showing restraint and respect, we are honoring God and trusting in His power. Many times as young adults we struggle with authority. As these verses state, God’s commands are to honor authority. Matthew 19:19 is one we have all heard, yet many times we don’t do. Our parents may not always do the right thing or many times do what “we” want, but God placed them as your parents for a reason. I wish I could I say that I always honored my parents, but in reality we ALL have failed our parents at some point (some of us (ME) have failed our parents more than we want to admit). The great thing about our failures is we can go to God and ask for forgiveness and then guidance on how to make things right. So next time your mom or dad ask you to do something you really don’t want to do, DO IT!! Even though it may be as simple as taking out the trash or walking the dog, give them the respect they deserve. You can also apply these same techniques to your authority figures at school or work!!
Following Jesus requires us to have a huge amount of Humility. More than anything it requires faith that God will always support and defend us in His timing.
Is there ever a time when we no longer should show respect for authority? Why or Why Not?
Why is it hard to show respect to an authority figure that has not “earned” it?
Is it possible to show respect when standing up for yourself? How so?
Learning from the scripture we read, how should we respond to people that are in authority that we feel has not earned our respect?
After we realize our mistakes, what should be our next steps?
In closing, truly think about how you answered the questions above. Focus on the last question and make sure you are doing what the Bible says. I hope you all have a great day today and know that God loves you more than anything in the world and He will always be the authority figure that will NEVER let you down.
Dear Heavenly Father we thank you again today for Your many blessings you have given us. Thanks you for our parents that you have blessed us with. Thank you for the opportunity for us to show respect to those that are deserving in our lives. We thank you for the guidelines of how we are to do this through the Scripture you have given. We thank you for everything in the good and bad. AMEN!!!
Love and Blessings,
Coach Tim Broome
Transformed Student Ministry