Monday, December 18, 2006

Being Constructive, Not Destructive

From my morning reading.

Acts 23:5 As Paul stood before the Sanhedrin, he declared that he had served the Lord with a clean conscience ( Acts 23:1 ). When Ananias commanded an attendant to strike Paul on the mouth, the apostle stated that God would judge the high priest for giving such an illegal order (vv. 2-3). And when Paul was questioned about the appropriateness of his statement, he claimed that he did not know he had spoken against the high priest (vv. 4-5).
The apostle mentioned Exodus 22:28 , which prohibits speaking evil of a ruler. This commandment seems to be broken quite frequently these days. For example, we are not shy about saying uncomplimentary remarks about those in charge of our communities. Sadly, Christian public speakers seem to be in the forefront of those who are uttering unwholesome statements about elected and appointed officials.

Rather than be cynical and suspicious of those in authority, we should pray for them ( 1 Tim. 2:1 ). For example, we can ask the Lord to be merciful to them, and we can express thanks for the job they are doing (v. 2) . Also, we can pray that God will use the rulers over us to maintain law and order so that we can live in peace and quietness as well as godliness and dignity (v. 3) . Perhaps most importantly, we can pray for their salvation (v. 4) .
Dear God, please help me to be constructive, rather than destructive, in my demeanor toward those in authority over me. Amen.

A Daily Devotional Guide to Christlike Character Edited by: Don M. Aycock

We should apply this to our church leaders as well. It's way too easy to express our thoughts, feelings and criticisms to each other and not to the ones we should.


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