One might think that the level of negative political rhetoric has never been higher than it is right now. And that assumption is probably more true than not.
Way-back in the "good ol’ days" many politicians solved their problems with their fists, canes and sometimes even pistols. Sometimes words would serve little purpose, other than to instigate a brawl or a raucous ideological donnybrook.
I’m not a historian by any means, but I know our country has been down this path before. This is a road more traveled than anyone wants to admit. Yet for some reason this war of words surprises everyone. Well, maybe not everyone — just those who care to pay attention — and that number is fading fast.
History does repeat itself; sometimes over and over and over again. But there is something different here. Yes, leaders must be held accountable; but there is a significant gap between holding a leader accountable and disrespecting or mistrusting our administration.
Sadly, it is no longer uncommon for speakers or writers to refer to those in positions of leadership in a dishonoring or disrespectful manner. Long gone are the days of decorum when courtesy, decency and honor took precedence over personal interests. We have crossed the proverbial red line when it comes to contempt toward our people in authority.
And our leaders, unfortunately, share in this blame as they, too, have been equally guilty of political negativism. It has become a vicious cycle that seems to have no end.
It is one thing to have differing opinions. It’s another to outright disrespect those in authority. As a country whose official motto is, In God We Trust, it may be prudent to look at what the Bible has to say about leadership in a way that has God’s approval.
Hebrews 13:17 reads, "Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you."
Romans 13:7 says, "Give to everyone what you owe them:… if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."
King Saul of Israel was a competent king who in the end failed miserably in his responsibilities. It would have been convenient for his successor, David, to point out Saul’s flaws after he died. Instead King David wrote a eulogy for Saul that pointed out Saul’s strengths: his bravery in battle and his favor among his subjects. In other words, David looked for ways to honor God’s anointed. Just as God put Saul in place in Israel, He puts civil rulers in place as well.
Regardless of what we think of God’s appointees, we honor them because we honor him. And their lies the key to our existence as a sovereign nation.
Just the other day I was leading a devotion about this very topic. At the end of our discussion we said the Lord’s Prayer followed by The Pledge of Allegiance. There I stood among people considered to be the greatest generation of all time. Words like dignity, honor and respect are standard nomenclature for this group. As we spoke the words "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"…I had to wipe away my tears of gratitude and joy.
United we stand or divided we fall. Take your pick my friends.
Contact DeLong at 912-531-7867 or email him at: SeniorMomentsWithRich@gmail.com