Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Hebrews 13:17
The writer to the Hebrews said we should "obey" our leaders.
It's the next part that causes some problems. That's the part about us having an attitude which allows them to give their accounts with joy and not groaning. If that's going to happen, we would have to be nice and polite and grateful when we submit to their authority.
For most of us, that's hard to do.
Here's a case in point: Robert Rausch of Southlake, Texas, has a 16-year-old daughter. That daughter has a curfew, a curfew which was broken.
You see, this daughter apparently had not submitted to her dad's authority with the right attitude. As a result dad's accounting is not being done with joy. So what to do?
Dad came up with a punishment which will help remind his daughter of her duties and, at the same time, help someone else. So, what did dad do? He took out an ad which says, "Want a Free Babysitter for a Night Out?" The ad then explained why his daughter was doing 30 hours of free babysitting.
I think I like dad.
On the other hand, most of us aren't always pleased when the Lord, or one of His representatives, disciplines us for our sins and transgressions. All too often we humans get rebellious and think we know what we're doing. We don't. If we did, the world wouldn't be in the pickle it is.
We Christians need to remember that when the Lord disciplines us, it isn't because He hates us. On the contrary, it is inconsistent to think that the Lord who gave His Son for our redemption would suddenly turn on us.
No, because of Jesus we can be sure the Lord loves us. With that in mind, when the Lord disciplines us, we ought to be better able to say, "Not my will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42b).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive my rebelliousness and my thinking I know what is best. Grant me the wisdom to know You are in charge and the faith to believe Your ways are right. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries