Today's reading is an uncompromising argument from Paul about obeying government. It's interesting to read that from Paul, who at every turn was respectful to all leaders, in keeping with his words. At the same time, he never obeyed leaders who told him to act against God's calling to preach the gospel. Paul wrote these words about government being ordained by God even while he knew the government might persecute him for his faith. Christians have a challenging balance. On the one hand comes this command, to obey the government and respect it because it keeps the peace and provides stability for us. On the other hand, we know that no matter what, God's calling comes first.
Paul's words were also written with a totally different concept of government. While Rome had elected officials, the idea that all men and women would be able to vote for a president would blow Paul away. So now Christians not only have to think about how to obey God and government, we also have to think about how to choose our leaders with our faith in mind. At the same time, Paul's words ring true: everything in our faith and life comes back to love. If we think about how to love everyone, including our political opponents, we'll be following God. We may differ in our beliefs about who will be the best president or congresswoman or senator, but as long as we love each other, those differences will not tear us apart. Who knows? we may even learn from each other.