It seems that the apostle Paul is not only speaking of our duties to rulers who are not Christian, but also to all people. This includes people like Richard Dawkins who make a living out of attacking the very idea of God. This includes political leaders we believe advocate evil. It includes our neighbours, and our family members.
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures . . . But when the kindness of the love of God our Saviour toward men appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us . . .
Too often, Christians can become scoffers. They scoff at those who disagree, and even make things up about them. Paul's advice in these situations is clear: stop it!
- Remember who you once were
- Remember what God has done for you
- Humbly hold out that hope to others