April 14, 2009

Good Government

Written by Boyd Bailey

Good Government… “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1

Good governments recognize Almighty God as the ultimate authority. He is the One who establishes governments and gives them the power to preside over the people. Good governments are ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. When governments fail to serve the people on behalf of God, they ultimately fail. Wisdom is separation of church and state, but not separation of the church from the state.

A good government “of the people” is populated by good people. Its officials instruct and lead with integrity of heart and humility of mind. Moses modeled this when he chose leaders of character to help him manage the masses. “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens” (Exodus 18:21). It is integrity that infuses a country with common sense commands and laws based on the Lord.

A good government “by the people” means we are responsible to participate in the electoral process and pray for our elected officials. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…”(1 Timothy 2:1-3). Our prayer for politicians pleases Jesus, so plead often on their behalf for wisdom and courage to do the right things.

Lastly, a good government “for the people” means the people are the recipients of its benefits. Good citizens pay taxes as Jesus commanded (Luke 20:25), but good governments are faithful fiduciaries with the funds. They are wise overseers of free enterprise. So those who maliciously manipulate the markets are punished for their punitive acts. Creditable capitalism is based on character. Indeed societies with an honest democracy ask, “Am I a good citizen who contributes to good government?” Under God, good government is “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 17:15; Proverbs 8:15; John 19:11; 1 Peter 2:17

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