For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil.
Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Romans 13:4-7
Governments and public authorities have a God-honoring role in society. But what do we do when people in government misbehave or mistreat Christians? We pray! We pray for them, for justice and righteousness. Imagine how difficult it was to be a Christian in the first century when the Roman government was persecuting believers in Jesus Christ. Pastor John MacArthur wrote a book called ‘Why government can’t save you’ with a reminder that we should not place the faith we have in God, to faith in government. We should instead as Paul writes, render what is due to whom it is due. Only God is worthy our worship. So, when I pay my taxes, I can praise God for giving me the ability to do so and I can pray that the money is used for God-honoring purposes.
Do I thank God for the freedom I enjoy in America?
Lord, thank you again for the men and women who are public servants. Thank you for those who are firefighters and police officers and all who serve in our armed forces. I even thank you for those who fulfill roles as administrators and accountants and IRS workers. May each serve for the greater good of society. Guard them from corruption and evil as they exercise their God-given authority.