Originally published Monday, 25 August 2014.
Do you find that at times it can be a bit challenging to respect those who have authority over you? Meaning people like your boss, delegated leadership, husband if you’re married, teacher, spiritual leaders, police officers, etc. I know firsthand that it can be tough. But once I weigh it to the truth of what God’s Word says about it, it definitely carries more weight. And when we know this, that’s when we can become more effective in respecting them.
So let’s see what His word says about it, as it relates to those who have authority over us. Colossians 3:22-24 says this about how we should respond, “You slaves must obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Obey them willingly because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” (NLT)
Now, when it talks about slaves, what it’s really saying is, “You servants.” And I know you want to hear someday, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” right? So in order to hear those AWESOME words, then you and I will had to have served others well and been faithful in doing so, right? Right. Amen.
Furthermore, it’s telling us to obey those who have authority over us regardless to whether they are watching us or not. This is integrity. Now, I have to say that this doesn’t mean obey them if they’re telling you to do something sinful. God will never ask you to sin against Him through a leader or your husband. So please understand that, but if they are genuinely telling you that they need something done, then do it. Then God will be pleased with you. And of course this has to be done with the right attitude, because remember Colossians tells us to do it cheerfully.
And I know respecting authority cheerfully is not as easy as it seems. But again, once we hold this to the truth, the next step is to ask the Lord to help us to really set our thoughts and sights on Him, because ultimately that’s who we’re serving indirectly. And I believe that when we do this, it helps change our perspective as we do what’s being asked of us through our authority. Granted, yes, we may not always agree with them, but we still have to watch ourselves and show respect (hold them in high regard/esteem).
Another thing that I need to mention here is that we have to watch our attitudes, tone, body language, and words when it comes down to respecting authority, especially as women. James 1:19-20 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” (NLT) This Scripture has really helped me over the years when it comes down to respecting my authority.
The Bible itself helps tremendously, because once you know the truth, the Bible tells us that it will make us free (John 8:32). When it comes down to respecting my husband, this one helps, “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33 - NLT) This is His word. Pretty weighty, huh? It has a whole new meaning. And how about Proverbs 15:1 which says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” (NLT) This relates to dealing with anyone in authority. So we have to calm down, and choose our words carefully, because remember, they are in authority over us. This is what “respect” looks like in action. And it’s really all about humility.
Yes, humility plays a major role in respecting those who have authority over you. When we humble ourselves under God’s authority and those He’s placed in authority over us, He is so pleased with us. It makes Him not only smile, but promote and bless us in due season. First Peter 5:5-6, “And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time, he will honor you.” (NLT) I don’t know about you, but I want to please my Father and receive His favor. And I’m sure you do as well. And if we do, then we need to show respect to our leaders, husbands, teachers, parents, and the list goes on.
So as I prepare to close this post, realize that God sets all people in authority. He’s really the One in control. And guess what? He already knew and preordained every authority figure in your life before you were born. And guess what else? If you ever want to ever be in authority, you first have to come under authority (*that was just an extra nugget for those who are in a waiting season for promotion). And if you ever want to be married to a godly husband or even have a successful marriage, then you will have to learn how to come under your husband’s leadership to do God’s will together. So no matter where you are, know that you can accomplish this with the help of Jesus, the power of God’s word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It’s not easy, but it can be done, sis. Let’s do this, while we aim to please the heart of our Father by respecting our authority figures effectively.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
*Thanks for reading! I hope and pray that you’ve been enlightened from this post. Feel absolutely free to leave a comment or for questions you can email me directly at email@example.com, and I will respond promptly. Also, tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts! Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye) and share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!