Give honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7)
The flashing lights in your rearview mirror make you groan. Oh yeah, that was a stop sign back there, wasn’t it? The one you flew through while glancing down at the text that lit up your screen. The uniformed officer strides to your window. You roll it down while your brain scans frantically through your excuse file in case one of them fits this occasion. He whips off his sunglasses and you recognize him. The kid from fifth grade! The bully who used to taunt you all the way to the schoolyard. You heard he got kicked of college and he hits his wife. He’s a cop now? Heat surges to your face and your fists clench.
Regardless of what you feel like doing, would it be wisest to: a) jump out of the car and pound his face? b) stare straight ahead and refuse to answer anything he asks? c) show him honor and comply with his request for your license and registration? We wrestle with the idea of honoring officials who don’t deserve the title. A policeman, a judge, or an elected official may each be a dishonorable human being in many ways, but we are to show them honor because of their position. Honor is not necessarily based upon the character of an individual. We can show honor to a person because of the office he or she holds. It is the office that earns our respect, even if the individual holding that office does not.
God instituted authority for our good. It works when we “give honor to whom honor is due.”