Day 77: Vocations
God In Disguise At Community

Read Romans 13:1-7

Would you die for your country? If you read Romans 13:1‐7, you’ll find that God has given authorities the power of life and death (they don’t “bear the sword in vain”). So Romans could die for tax evasion just as easily as for patriotic service! Christians in Rome were considered enemies of the state. Rather than confirming suspicions by forming an insurgency, God’s Word called them to become model citizens. They were told to pay taxes, to obey, and show honor … to a dictatorship! How does this translate into a democracy?

We live in a nation where every citizen has a voice. We elect our “governing authorities” (though all too few participate in the process!). We play a part nationally and locally, ideally. At the “grass roots” level, we can more easily see our impact. Whether we join the chamber of commerce, serve on a school board, or kibbutz with our neighbors while doing yardwork, we are called to be productive members of society—not the opposite. In other words, keep God’s commandments (i.e. love your neighbor) and you’ll be a good citizen. In fact, if we focus on living out all the Do’s of the Bible (e.g. pay taxes, show respect, serve others), we will not have time to worry about the Don’ts! To be a good citizen is a holy calling from God.

In The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Dan Ariely demonstrates that everyone cheats to get ahead in spite of wanting to be good people. He argues that we are prone to cheat when there is a big psychological distance between us and the one(s) we cheat. We may lie on our taxes (who do we know in the IRS?), but not steal from our neighbor. So, you want to be a good citizen? Act locally and it’ll impact globally! You might even save a life!

Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. Though I would die for my country, I often forget to live for it. Help me to do so.