While we are not saved or loved because of what we do as children of God, as in any family, our behavior reflects first on our heavenly Father and second on the entire family. One need only watch the media’s characterization of the Church and of conservatives to realize scrutiny is intense, real and never favorable. It was no different in the early church. Both the religious elite and the pagans were looking for reasons to persecute and destroy the followers of Christ.
In part, it is because we have always and still stand out like a sore thumb. The idea that we are glad to submit and follow the lead of a selfless person is somewhat unnerving to a society bent on protecting and meeting each and every personal interest.
With that said, whenever we as God’s kids break the law or buck authority, the world seizes that moment to show we are not selfless, but merely frail hypocrites. In addition, as quickly as people are to judge—they are equally relentless in holding a grudge.
That is why this scripture is so important—follow the law and submit to authority, you are representing Christ and his family. It is not complicated, nor is it unfair. We set the standards—not because we have to, but because we would do nothing intentional to embarrass God or the family.
God Bless You
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.