``It seems a difficult requirement. But then we are reminded that the responsibility is not due to the worthiness of the officials themselves, or even to the fairness or wisdom of their rules - it is for the Lord's sake that we submit ourselves. It would be so much easier if I actually respected the officials, but hey, it is what it is.'' --Cindy Howard
This immediately struck a chord, helping coalesce thoughts around the issue I've had for some time.
I find myself conflicted. Paul clearly defined what rulers are there for, and far too many of ours are either at odds with that or (in some cases) in outright rebellion. And yet I believe in honor. How do we honor the individual without bowing down to the idol? How do we honor the office when it's current use is so polluted?
There is no way to resolve that conflict once and for all, because each and every one of those people are different, individuals made in God's image as surely as you and I.
I have lived in that place of rebellion, that seat of self, so I know too well how easy it is to turn away from God. I just didn't happen to be in authority over hundreds or thousands (local offices) or millions (state offices) or hundreds of millions (national offices) of people.
I can but live moment by moment in grace, trusting God for what that looks like at the current instant in time.
Lord, help us all. Deliver us from self.