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Disrespecting Authority

     Disrespect is dishonoring and violates Eph. 6:2, but there are a few parents who still discipline their children if they are disrespectful. Most parents in our society today allow their children to trample over them. The kids, verbally or in action, go against the family’s morals, the parents’ rules and basically do whatever they want. The parents are exhausted and stressed out, and would rather let the child do whatever he wants to do, rather than expend the energy and effort it would require to discipline the child.

     Other parents have such a profoundly low self-esteem that it almost borders on mental illness. As a result, these parents must have their children “like them” or they can’t handle it. So the kids do whatever they want, while the parents mistakenly think their child likes them for all they do for them. What a sad life they have ahead of them!

     While most of these parents do not recognize this dishonoring in their own kids, they can quickly see it in other children. That is why most people, parents or not, are appalled at the level of disrespect some kids are allowed to show their parents, who are supposed to be in authority over the children. If their child talks back, goes against the parents’ rules or disobeys them, parents who know how to parent properly will discipline that child. Probably a spanking would be in order.

     Then there is disrespect in the workplace. Bosses are supposed to be in charge. Yet, today many companies coddle to whining employees and let them get away with almost anything. In the old days, if you didn’t do what your boss asked you to do, you were fired on the spot.

     There are some companies that are still like that, but in most businesses today there is astonishing mercy for disrespect of the boss by employees. Still, enough eventually will be enough. An employee can only tell a boss so many times that they are not going to do something before they get fired.

     If your boss tells you to show up tomorrow to work, and you don’t show up, many companies will fire you. And they should do that, in light of your disrespect and disobedience to your boss. The boss is the person with authority in the workplace. You do what he or she tells you, or you are fired!

     In most schools, if a kid disrespects their teacher they will be sent out of the classroom for discipline by the principal. If a child does not obey the school rules, they can be expelled and receive discipline. Kids must obey the laws of the school.

     All people must obey the laws of the land. If you do not, and you disrespect the laws by not obeying, you will be punished. This punishment can take on the form of a fine for speeding or incarceration for more serious offenses. If you disrespect a police officer and fight him, you will go to jail for resisting arrest or battery to a police officer. Lawbreakers are caught and punished in every society. Society rules differ, but in every nation on earth, lawbreakers are punished for not doing what the law says.

     Now journey back to the Middle Ages when there were lords over the manor. They had servants to work the land and take care of their home or castle. Whatever the lord dictated to be done, the servant did it. There was no rebelling against your lord or you would be severely disciplined. In some places, you would be killed for disobeying the lord or king that you served.

     So it seems to me that it would be very clear and understandable to all people in our society that all of us are subject to authority. We must obey laws or be punished and disciplined. I wonder why so many American Christians would not rob a bank or run a red light and would discipline their own children who willfully disobey their rules; yet, when it comes to the commandments, laws and precepts of our Lord, we willfully disobey Him.

     Not only do we disobey much of what we have been told to do, we really don’t expect to be punished for disobedience to our Lord. Many times, we just see our troubles as a bad time we are experiencing, without ever giving thought to the possibility that we are being disciplined in our family or personal life because we are disrespecting our Lord.

     Some people who would never dream of telling off their boss, or would never slap a police officer who gave them a ticket, will not hesitate to slap our Lord in the face of His Holiness by disobeying Him. There is no repentance; there is only moderate guilt. There is no shame; and no one tells them any different. People obey whomever is their lord, just as the servants in the Middle Ages obeyed their lord. Is Jesus really the Lord of your life? If He is, why don’t you obey what He has commanded you to do?

     Are you like the out of control teenager? Are you like a servant in the Middle Ages who willfully didn’t do what the master and lord told them to do? If you don’t obey, are you really His servant? Is He really your Lord?

     The next time you pray with your family before dinner, and as soon as you start by saying “Dear Lord,” imagine that Heaven stops you and you hear the Lord say to you and your family what is found in Luke 6:46: “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Reprinted from the April 16, 2008 issue of the Baptist Trumpet)