Bible Verse

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.  Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorable in every way.”  Hebrews 13: 17 & 18

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

Over the past couple of years, the United States has had many instances of conflicts between citizens and police officers.  Some of these conflicts ended in tragedy for the citizen.  This scripture is telling us to respect authority.  There is no benefit to you for showing disrespect during the initial incident.  This scripture does not mean to allow people of authority to do anything to you, but it does mean for you to maintain your clear conscience about how you are conducting yourself.  If anyone in authority abuses you, there are proper procedures to follow to address the situation and still allow you to act honorable. 

During recent police incidents, there have been situations where the citizen acted with disrespect at the beginning of the incident and the police officers escalated their action leading to tragic physical harm to the citizen.  In some cases, the officers were prosecuted, but that did not help the victim. 

 This scripture is not saying to allow everyone to take advantage of you.  It is saying you should not sacrifice your clear conscience because someone else is treating you with disrespect.  Live your life in an honorable way and use proper channels to pursue any wrongdoing.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

This past Memorial Day I went to a Home Depot Store to return a five-gallon container of paint I purchased the previous day.  I went to the paint counter and showed the clerk the receipt.  The clerk informed me he was not able to refund the cost of the paint because it was a custom color.  I said OK and walked toward the exit.   A clerk from the cash register stopped me to check the paint.  She said that I was trying to leave without paying for the paint.  I showed her the receipt.  She said the receipt was dated yesterday and I was trying to take another container of paint.  My first impulse was to yell at her, but I had just studied this scripture a couple of weeks earlier.   I calmly told her that she made a mistake, and we should discuss the situation with a manager.   

After telling the manager what happened, the manager looked at the sticker on the can and noticed it had a date of the day prior.  The manager looked at me and said he noticed that I was wearing a Marine Corps cap and it was Memorial Day.  He said that he was sorry and that he will accept the return even though the paint color is a customer as a way of thanking me for my service.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

Not all situations will have the ending we wish, but we have control over how we conduct our lives and that we maintain our clear conscience.  We do not need to have every situation have a good resolution, but we do need to maintain our clear conscience.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.

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