Andy was once approached by two of his church members, military men, who asked him to become an Army chaplain. As such, his military rank would have required them to salute him. In amusement, he mentioned that fact. Their laughing response? “Remember, Pastor, we are required to salute the uniform, not the man who wears it!”
Are you one of the United States of America citizens who have, or have had, trouble holding your nation’s leaders up in respect? You feel they have let you down by conducting their authority badly? You listened to their speeches and have found yourself increasingly disappointed and shocked at how the job is/was handled, versus what was promised.
As I’m sure you know, you are not the first to feel this way. Throughout the years since the birth of our beloved country, people have used their democratic right to vote as they see fit. “I believe that dude will help lead this country the way I think it should go, so yep, I’m gonna vote for that ‘un right thar!”
Then, lo and behold! That politician let you down. Whether it was because of- ummm- financial persuasions, (No, say it ain’t so!”) or a change in their beliefs because the wind shifted. Or maybe you have had to hear that person loftily declare, “You people simply have not comprehended the complexity of the issues at hand.”
Whatever the cause, you got stuck with that person in charge, and you detest where they are leading. In your opinion, some people wear the weight of responsibility and authority well, and conduct themselves with honesty, compassion, and wisdom. Others…well, not so much.
But whether you or I admire the way a person is doing their job, or absolutely detest it, there is one basic truth that we must apply. It is this; You do not have to salute the PERSON in the office, but remember, it is imperative that the OFFICE itself be held in respect.
Why? Because when we as a nation lessen our respect for the authority of the office itself - simply put, we lose. A people who has decided it is acceptable to hold contempt for their nation’s authoritative offices will too soon find itself spiraling downward. Abe Lincoln is quoted, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”
The answer to disagreeing with leadership in our country lies in prayer for guidance, and then lawful action under direction of the Great Authority Himself, God Almighty. In Romans 13:1, the Holy Word of God 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.” Remember to respect the office.
Like Andy’s friends told him; “We are required to salute the uniform - just not necessarily the person wearing that uniform.”