As I was teaching a class on Christian thinking, one of the questions that I posed the students was, “What should a Christian think about his or her political leaders?” After some very spirited discussion, but using biblical passages and common sense, we came across this verse: “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1Ti 2:1-2 — HCSB).
What struck me the most about this is that thanksgiving be made “for kings and all those in authority.” I found myself asking, am I thankful for my political leaders? Am I thankful for them, even if I consider them to be lying, incompetent, self-centered people who have an agenda that goes against my own political views? I have to admit that I am not thankful for such men and women, because I think I know better than them – and God! So I repent of this, because authority comes from God and He has invested these men and women (whom I am critical of) with authority over me. Therefore they wield God’s authority, albeit in a way that is probably not in line with His desires. Even so, I must be thankful, because they are God’s unwitting – and sometimes unwilling – servants and He is in control. He is using them and I will be thankful for them, because it gives God glory.