FROM THE DESK OF THE PATRIARCH AND PRESIDING PRELATE
His Grace Sir Godfrey Gregg D.div
Submitting to and Respecting Authority
This morning I want to greet His All Holiness Patriarch and Presiding Prelate of this, Worthy and Noble Order. Our Beloved Queen Abbess and Cardinal. My other Ministers, brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers. Your faithfulness to God and this ministry have kept me stronger and with love to steer the course of this powerful email ministry. I thank you for your words of encouragement and to reach you every day with a new message.
As a parent, I can surely tell you that when your kids don’t show you respect, it is really hard not to want to ground them or discipline them. Discipline will instil respect like in the days of old. We all try to instil the importance of honouring authority into our kids. Yet, we all have more than a little trouble honouring the authority that’s over our own lives.
Remember the old saying, “Do what I say, not what I do?”
We all want it. We all expect it. Yet, we want others to earn it from us. How is that supposed to work? I have a problem with that attitude and it should not be tolerated at home and NOT in the church.
God’s View of Authority
The truth is God has placed an entire network of people in this world into positions of authority. I’m not just referring to our government leaders, but also to the leaders in our workplaces and in our families, more so in our churches. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at just how God views authority and our lack of respect thereof.
Coming under the authority and showing respect isn’t easy. Nobody wants to be told what to do or how to do it. We criticize anybody that makes a decision we don’t like. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s not good for me.
In our country (with an emphasis on the Caribbean) we’ve taken our right to free speech to an unbelievable level. We openly criticize our leaders, our country, our values, and pretty much anything else that doesn’t line up with what we want. We don’t see anything wrong with complaining, whining, and showing disgust to anybody who will listen.
An open dialogue about how to solve issues is always a good thing. But some have even categorized their poor behaviour as an attempt at “open dialogue.” There is much to learn about how God views these kinds of situations.
Protection and Favour
When you are in a relationship with God, He provides you with protection and favour. But as you belittle and criticize those people He has placed in authority over you, that protection and favour are lifted from you. The bottom line is that God expects you to respect Him and His choices. He expects that you will respect the people He’s placed in authority over you. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with every one of their decisions, but it does mean you still need to show respect for the position, and by extension, the person who is in the position.
Romans 13:1-3 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:“
Now, do you want to respect authority? Probably not. In reality, would you rather just tell them what you think about it? Yes. So how do you go about this seemingly impossible task? How do you submit to and show respect for the authority God has placed over you when you don’t agree? And, how do you keep a good attitude while you’re doing it?
Steps for Respecting Authority
- Start by reading and learning what God says about respecting authority. Find out just what He thinks and how much importance He places on your willingness and your attitude about it. When you discover that God will only give you authority over others when you show that you can come under authority yourself, perhaps things will look a little different to you.
- Pray for those in authority over you. Ask God to guide them as they fulfil their tasks. Pray that their hearts would seek God as they make decisions. Ask God to show you how you can be a blessing to those in authority over you.
- Set an example for the people around you. Show them what submitting to authority for the right reasons is supposed to look like. Don’t participate in back-biting, gossiping, or criticizing your bosses or others in authority. There is nothing wrong with having constructive conversations, but there is a fine line between offering your opinion and becoming disrespectful.
- Understand and know ahead of time that you are not going to like every decision. If you look at the responsibility and accountability that exists within the role of your leaders, it should become clear that the scope of their authority affects more than just you and your circumstances. There are times when decisions will negatively impact you. But just remember that how you react to these times will determine how quickly God puts you in a position of authority over others.
There is no magic pill that can make you feel good about having to submit to authority—any authority. But know when you make the conscious effort to do what God says, regardless of how it feels; you are planting a wonderful seed that will produce a harvest in your life.
You can’t expect a harvest of blessings from people who will respect and honour you if you haven’t first planted the seeds. So as hard as it is, start planting! Be respectful in behaviours and character to your Elders and Leaders in authority over you. I assure you when you obey the word that God will take note and someday place you in authority over others. Do unto others what you will like others to do unto you.
It is always my pleasure to seek the face of Almighty God who in His wisdom has made me your Archbishop and a watchman to feed His flock. I seek the face of God to find the right pasture where His children can be fed. It is because of my respect for Him and His authority I am kept as the apple of His eye. My love for my Leader and Elders, how to be respectful in kind, character and being faithful; that I am still on the land of the living to praise the Lord. Hallelujah
I trust you have a wonderful day and may Almighty God bless and keep you. God bless