In Cincinnati some have been following the trial against the 27-year-old police officer Ray Tensing, who is being tried for murder. The second trial against Tensing just ended, once again, in a mistrial. Moreover, the jurors were not even close to reaching a verdict.
The police officer made a traffic stop. Officer Tensing tried to get the passenger, Sam Dubose, to get out of his car, but Dubose would not cooperate. The officer’s gun was fired, and Dubose was dead.
God commands us to pray for our leaders. Why? So we can lead a “tranquil life.”
After the second mistrial of officer Tensing, the local Urban League hosted a meeting to discuss and come up with ideas to help prevent this from happening again. While watching the news report, I thought many ideas people brought were good. But I did not see what I think is the most important thing in the news report: encouraging people to simply show respect to the officers and comply. It may have been discussed in the meeting, but was not reported on in the news.
The family of the victim was compensated by the college where the officer worked with a $5.4 million settlement, and free tuition for all of the victim’s 13 kids.
This trial reminded me of the importance of praying for and showing respect for those over us. We may not agree with our leaders in government positions, whether they be our local officials, police officers, or high government office, but does this mean we should not show respect to the office they hold? Instead, we should be praying for all our leaders and local officials and showing proper respect to them. That includes everyone from the President of the United States to our local police officers—we should be praying for them all and showing proper respect.
The apostle Peter wrote, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17 1 Peter 2:17Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
American King James Version×, New International Version throughout). If Peter wrote that about the famously corrupt emperors of ancient Rome, we can do this in our world today. Just a few verses earlier, he states, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority” (1 Peter 2:13 1 Peter 2:13Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
American King James Version×).
The apostle Paul confirmed this same principle in the book of Romans: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1 Romans 13:1Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
American King James Version×). And again when writing to Timothy: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 1 Timothy 2:1-2 1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
American King James Version×, emphasis added throughout).
God commands us to pray for our leaders. Why? So we can lead a “tranquil life.” With all the attacks going on in the news, I have had to stop watching it as it did not leave me tranquil .
God tells us to “speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:2 Titus 3:2To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men.
American King James Version×). Speak no evil of anyone is a strong command, but it produces tranquil results! That is not the case in our society.
One way to practice doing this is what Paul wrote: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×). If we all followed this scripture, what a different world we would have.
Teach your children to show respect and to pray for those over them: the teachers, the police officers and others. Showing respect grants good results.
To pray and show respect for our leaders is not being political, but simply being a Christian because we are praying for another human being. In doing so, we are doing what God has commanded us to do, so we can lead a tranquil life!