Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority… 1 Peter 2:13a
Peter’s letter talks about authority—a topic the Roman believers are very familiar with. From top to bottom, the first-century Roman Empire was an authoritarian culture. At the top was the emperor (Nero at this time) whose word was law. With no elections, he rules for life. Somewhere in the middle are the enslaved. From the very poor to upwardly mobile, as many as 1/3 of people in the Roman Empire are enslaved. It was a male-dominated culture where women have little to no official power. Struggles with authority figures and structures are part of their day-to-day life.
Each of us has situations and relationships that don’t feel fair. We, too, have challenges with authority figures and structures in our lives. We sarcastically criticize politicians with whom we disagree. We have a tedious job with an unappreciative boss. Or we experience gender inequality at work, school or even at home. It seems we’re continually bumping into an authority who isn’t doing what we want or isn’t listening to what we say.
How we respond to those in authority tells others a lot about us. If we want to live THE QUESTIONABLE LIFE, we will respond differently to authority. This is especially true when we are under the authority of someone we don’t like or respect, and we say, “I’m not doing that.” Sometimes we need to draw a line and refuse to do something wrong—but we should be careful it’s not simply because we don’t want to do something.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Identify your most challenging space where you are likely to say (or think), “I’m not doing that.” With open hands, offer this space to God and welcome him into it before you get there. Know that he will meet you and help you say, “I will do that!”
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
February is SABBATH. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TIP Watch or re-watch Pastor Jeff Manion’s sermon about The Weekly Feast (Sabbath) from 12/17/22. Find some way to practice this throughout this month, so it becomes a Spiritual Practice for you all year!
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.