Respecting Authority

picture1Last week I mentioned our attitudes towards/against authority, which can frequently lead to violence and a break down in Law and Order. There seems to be a continuing attitude of disrespect for LEOs and a general disregard for Law and, coupled with this breakdown, is continued violence against, and targeting of, First Responders. This cannot go on forever unchecked without consequence and there is potential cause for cautious optimism for the future. Not only does this potential relief stem from a change of attitude within our leadership, but is also echoed within Scripture: “Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries” (2 Peter 2:9 & 10 NKJV).

Regardless of where one works, those in a position of any authority, expect their subordinates to respect their position and/or authority.  This is particularly true with First Responders, where we expect those we come into contact to respect the authority of our position and to obey our commands/directions [though the more cynical or realistic probably expect quite the opposite these days].  Ironically, so many are willing to disrespect or even disregard those in authority over them, offering various reasons or excuses, all the while expecting to be respected without question.

Hebrews 13:17 tells us to:  “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

This verse brings to mind the “cautious optimism” I mentioned earlier, in that our Government is seeking to implement policies and potential legislation aimed at shoring up existing laws, establishing “tough on crime” policies, and providing a safer environment for those tasked with enforcing those laws.

President Trump has issued Executive Orders charging the Department of Justice with establishing three task forces to examine current efforts and to recommend any necessary changes to legislation and/or funding required to fight drug cartels, reduce violent crime, and reduce attacks against police. There are specific goals for the Justice Department to “enhance the protection and safety” of law enforcement personnel by increasing penalties for crimes committed against officers.

In the meantime, we need to continue to safely enforce existing laws and treat all people with dignity and respect, whether they are our ‘superiors’, co-workers, or the public at large.

Let us also remember to keep our President and Nation in prayer:  “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3 NKJV); “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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