The Kingdom of Man and the Kingdom of God

“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:7 (NIV)

As Christians, we find ourselves responsible to two kingdoms: The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Man. While we are called first to follow God, we are also instructed to follow the laws of our world. But what are we to do when these seem to conflict? What do we do when controversy strikes the conscience of our society? God’s Law will always supersede the laws of men and we will be held accountable for our actions (Romans 2:6-11), however, we also must be mindful of what responsibilities God has granted governments and that their authority has been given to them by God (Romans 13:1). When controversy erupts around us, we ought to take the time to determine what we are called to do by God for our fellow people, as well as consider what responsibilities our government has been endowed with and how to ensure they are enacted appropriately.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see a clear path forward when I find myself in the midst of controversy. Where I believe there to be injustice, help me to see if that is truly so and to find ways to aid those hurt by it. Where I believe the authorities to be wrong, help me to see whether they are following their responsibilities rightly and show me what to do if they truly are wrong. Please grant me the presence of mind to discern the truth of matters affecting myself and society, and to allow grace to those of other convictions. Help me to find peace and justice for all in this world. Amen.