Bob Haley

Bob Haley

When it came time for a decision to be made in my childhood home, dad was in charge. That is, of course, with mom’s permission.

In an effort to get my way, I always knew to start with mom. If I could convince her of my desperate need for the latest toy or bicycle, then it was just a matter of asking dad when he was in a good mood.

He then would ask my mother what her thoughts were about the request. Having already settled that with mom, I would win.

Getting what we want out of life often seems like balancing household opinions. Parents want the best for their children. Children don’t really know what is best for them.

In the end, leading children is a tightrope walk of yes and no decisions with hurricane winds gusting and blowing each and every way against the rope.

I am writing this article while awaiting the governor’s latest update about the reopening of Florida. I am sure he has received many opinions about what is the best direction for the people of Florida.

It seems we keep looking to the government in this crisis for direction. I would submit that we look to God’s Word for direction.

1 Peter 2 states that the Lord establishes leaders in our lives. Obviously, we didn’t choose our parents and yet we submit to their authority. We may not have chosen the current government leadership in Tallahassee, Congress or the Oval Office, but they are our leaders.

The Bible states that the role of the government is simply “to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (v. 14). The next verse states “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (v. 15).

Show respect to those who are in leadership above you. By doing so and behaving, it silences those who would point to you as the trouble.

“We are to show proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king” (v. 17).

I am certain in the coming days there will be a hunt for who is to blame for the damages caused to life and economy from this virus. I just want to remind us all that despite our political inclinations regarding how this disaster was handled, we are to remain people who love one another. We can show honor and respect and agree to disagree.

Remember the struggles of parenting? The decisions that were made with our children as we did our best to lead them into adulthood? We did what we thought was best for our children and family, with only the tools and information we had at our disposal.

Who of us would not want to correct the poor decisions we made as parents? But we did the best we could out of love.

We may not agree with the direction of our elected officials but we should show respect and honor to the office they hold. Do we not expect that from our children as we hold the office of parent or grandparent?

There is going to be trouble in the land as we rebuild. As we move forward, let us have a healthy dose of the fear of God.

How we choose to behave will be a witness for God. We are to follow His ways as we walk together through this new reality.

I do want to close with a reminder that the government’s role is to “punish those who do wrong and commend those who do right.” If our leaders get those backward, in the name of Christ we will need to stand together against that. It is our role to speak to our representatives in this great republic of ours.

In all things we are to be Christ-like. It is my prayer that we all seek the face of God during this time. May we glorify Christ by our actions.

Bob Haley is assistant pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, Venice.


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