Pay what is due

Date: Monday, February 17

ScriptureRomans 13:1-7

Verse: Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. (Romans 13:7)

Sometimes reviews of movies, books, music, restaurants, etc. are less than helpful. Many critics seem to take great pride in finding flaws in whatever they are reviewing. They slam the director, author, artist, chef – pointing out the slightest flaw. Many of us know amateur critics with the same problem. They make their opinions known about everything from politics to their job, and everything they say is pointing out problems with the leadership and how things could be better. In today’s passage we Christians are warned against becoming simple social critics.

The very first Christians, to whom Paul is writing, were spreading a very dangerous message. The government forged coins embossed with “Caesar is lord,” and sometimes referred to Caesar as a “son of god.” When the Christians said “Jesus is Lord,” and “Son of God,” they were saying they served a power greater than Caesar’s. The Christians were pointing to a kingdom greater than the Roman Empire, which prided itself in being the most powerful force in the world. Which makes it odd to hear Paul, a leader in this Jesus movement, advising the church to respect the authorities, whose power they were often challenging.

Like the critic who finds fault in everything soon loses credibility, so too can the church (Which could never happen today! Right?). Rather than playing the role of critic of the authorities of our world, the message of the gospel is to point to one greater, the ultimate authority. We do not need to tear down other authorities to elevate Christ, we simply need to continue to proclaim the message that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Prayer: Teach me, Lord Jesus, how to share what you mean to me in positive and loving ways. Amen.

Action: Spend 24 hours being positive – refraining from critiquing the government, your job, your teachers, or anything else.

Respond: Do you like to read reviews, or do you just go with your instincts? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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