Respect for Our Leaders - Trey Burton

It’s easy to spite someone, criticize them, or get accusatory with those in authority when we don’t agree with them. Instead, we need to focus on our No. 1 priority: Bringing glory and honor to God. 

We get caught up in the pushing and pulling of one side of the political agenda — getting blinded by all the cheating, lying and manipulation — that we can quickly forget the bigger picture of Whom we ultimately serve. At the end of the day — every day — we are here as ambassadors of Christ. Sometimes we bring glory to God when things get ugly by not joining in. It’s always glorifying to God when we are being persecuted for our faithfulness to Him, and it always brings Him joy when we are obedient to Him, especially when it’s not easy. Check out 1 Peter 2:15-21:

“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.”

Here it’s clear that we are to show respect for all people. As long as the law is not causing us to sin against God, we are to obey and submit to those in authority. As believers in Christ, regardless of whether or not we agree with those around us, we are to act in love. The enemy wants to drive a wedge in between believers any way he can. Don’t let him. 

One of the hardest things to do when you have a disagreement with a player or a coach is to sit down and have a conversation with them. It’s usually the last thing you want to do. But it’s crucial to do this. The same is true for anyone around us. Hear them out, listen to what they’re saying and how they feel. As I heard a pastor say recently, we should never be able to say, “I don’t understand what they are thinking.” We should not sit here and say we have no idea why someone is thinking or acting the way they are. Instead of pointing fingers and assuming the worst, sit down and listen. We can still disagree, and many times we will, but that does not give us any excuse to act in any way other than that of Jesus Christ. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

For example, my son needs to learn from his coach and be respectful of him. If his coach says to throw differently than I’ve told him to, I tell my son to listen to his coach first. Coach is the authority for the athlete. I’m the authority at home. We need to be able to recognize who God places over us even if we don’t know why. It’s our job to trust and obey our Leader. 

— Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts tight end

Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Trey’s Increase profile here.

If you enjoyed this article, please share: