What do you do when the person of authority is not worthy of the respect?
My pastor, Pat, often tells about a time, before he was a pastor, when he worked in the warehouse of a large hotel. He had to work with a chef at this hotel that did not handle the position of authority he was given properly. Pat had lost all respect for this gentleman and the two were not able to work together. Finally their boss had a conversation with the both of them to get to the bottom of the issue. Pat laid out all the reasons why he upset with the chef and his boss listened carefully. Finally he told Pat that the chef wasn’t going anywhere and that he was going to have to learn to work with him. “Can you respect this man at all?”, “no, I don’t think I can.” “Then can you at least respect the hat?” “Yes, sir, I think I can do that.”
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Find something in the person that you can respect and focus on that. Respect that. Pray for more things to respect and let it foster and grow. Only speak of the person in ways of respect. Even casual joking can be dangerous because you never know what you are fostering in someone else’s heart. This is speaking well of someone at the gates, making sure that what you say and do fosters respect in others and nothing else.
Disclaimer: I am not trying to say that we should condone wrong doing or sin. This is speaking more of those who have lost our respect through actions in the gray areas. The areas of life that are not clear cut wrong doing, but simply not nice. If someone in authority is clearly sinning please seek The Lord and seek Spiritual advice as to how to proceed.
Known At The Gates