A friend tweeted, “Be Refreshing”. I think that sums up life a lot and applies to our Bible Study this week on exercising an enduring faith in the workplace and in our culture.
Peter, who was living during the time of Nero the Roman Emperor, instructed Believers to submit to the government and to all authority. As you know, Christians were highly persecuted by the Romans during and after this time in history. Peter goes on to instruct slaves to submit to their masters and to endure the hardships. Slavery of that day was different than the antebellum slavery in America in that over 1/3 of the Roman Empire were slaves and often were more intelligent or skilled than their owners. And yet they were mistreated too!
Why? Why did Peter write these things and why are they in the Bible. After all, the Bible does not condone slavery but rather speaks to the liberation of mankind and the fair treatment of all. Why did Peter say that we are respect governments when they are often clearly anti-Christian, even our own?
Here’s why. The Bible says “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. For it is God’s will that you, by doing good, silence the ignorance of the foolish people…live as free people.”
We are neither to be so radical like Westboro (can’t bring myself to add church to the name) nor to be so complacent that we no longer have a voice. The examples of Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, and even Duck Dynasty exemplify Believers taking a stand against government or business incringing on Christian values or practices.
Do you have enduring faith? A consistent walk with Jesus trusting Him as you face life’s circumstances will give you an enduring faith that will refresh you each day as you have to face those who oppress you as a Christian.
Things to Ponder:
How do you deal with government policies or laws that impact your faith? Do you speak out or against as a Christian or from your politics? How do people interpret your reactions and do they bring glory to God?
How can we change government?
Do you pray for those in authority over you?
What is good about our governments…local, state and national?
What do you know about the anti-slavery movements?
How can you be a voice of awareness and action for children who are enslaved?