Faith & Life: Should a Christian Be a Good Citizen?


A woman raising her hand and praising God in a field
Credit: Jasmin Ne in Unsplash.com

Should a Christian Be a Good Citizen?

Living According to God’s Word

by J.M. Troppello


I never really thought about not obeying the law of the government where I live in the United States. At least I never thought about that until 2020 when COVID happened, and mandates were given about masks and vaccines. I’m not writing this article to tell you what to do. I had to do a lot of praying and soul-searching during these last two years to make sure I was acting like a Christian should act.


I only decided to write this article since it was the topic of the sermon at our church recently. Before our pastor began preaching this sermon, he prefaced it by saying that it may be a bit controversial or a sore subject—especially with everything that has happened in the last two years. The sermon definitely made me think. When I think a lot about things, that often results in me writing about my thoughts.


So here are my thoughts. I think that a Christian should be a good citizen. A Christian should live according to God’s Word. However, not everything is so cut and dry. There are times when you’ll need to go to God and enter into deep prayer about an issue. The following four ways can help you to be a good Christian and a good citizen.


1. Obey Government Laws


There are two statements that my Pastor (Chad Stoecker) said during his sermon on this topic that truly resonated with me. First, he said that “It’s not God’s plan for us to be comfortable here (on earth), but to be completed there (in Heaven).” That’s not always an easy truth to digest. If you’re like me, you like to be comfortable. Yet, that’s not God’s goal for my life or your life.


Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. 8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans chapter 13, NKJV)

His second statement truly stuck with me as well. “As a good Christian, we must be a good citizen until the day comes when being a good citizen makes you a bad Christian.” – Pastor Chad Stoecker


The one takeaway that sticks with me is that verse one of Romans 13 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”


No matter what happens, no matter who is elected to office—God is still in control. That brings me peace, even though life is surreal and crazy right now. I am only passing through this place. My real home is in Heaven.


One other thing my pastor said hit home. I’m paraphrasing here, but he mentioned that people in our church may not think he is political enough, and he’s okay with that. He hasn’t spoken out too much on politics, except on the subject of abortion, as he is very pro-life (as am I). However, he said it’s more important for a pastor to be Biblical than political. I agree. It’s good to be informed about what’s going on and support the right candidates etc. Yet, going over the deep end and being too political is not good either.


2. Pray for Leaders


Part of being a good citizen as a Christian is to pray for those in authority over us. I pray a lot. Yet, I must confess that I don’t pray often enough for the leaders in my country. I’m not sure why. Maybe I think it’s a lost cause because of the “DC Swamp” and the assumption that all politicians are bad—or eventually turn bad.


Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (I Timothy 2:1-2, NKJV)

However, as this passage urges, I need to get back on track and pray for these leaders. I urge you to pray for them as well—especially with the negative trajectory of where our world is headed today.


3. Get Involved


I vote and pay attention to what is going on politically in the world. I listen to a few news shows and watch conservative talk radio. However, I’m not actually in the trenches locally in my community. So, the advice shared in this section is being “shared” right back at me.


Start at the local level. Vote for conservative local leadership. Diligently research information on candidates that you vote for in all levels of government. Vote prayerfully and according to God’s Word.


4. Live a Godly Life


Finally, but actually, the most important thing you should do is to live a Godly life. Pray daily. Read the Bible. Spend time in worship and praise to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you continue to grow daily in your Christian walk.


Learn to choose your battles. Be a good witness when you interact with people in person and online. Don’t allow yourself to get agitated and react negatively to other people—who only want to instigate arguments. Yes, this can be extremely difficult. However, with God’s help, it is possible to be victorious in this area.


Trust God to Guide Your Actions


The American statesman, Daniel Webster said, “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.” Trust God to guide your actions. When in doubt, always return to God’s Word. Seek out His guidance through prayer and worship. Keep the lines of communication open between you and God.


  • Obey Government laws

  • Pray for leaders

  • Get involved

  • Live a Godly life


Times are difficult. They are strange. Yet, that should not be a surprise to a Christian.


8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:8-14, NKJV)

Stay the course in your walk with the Lord. Remain “prayed up” and filled with the Holy Spirit. Memorize God’s Word and keep it close to your heart. God is good. He is faithful. Trust Him to direct your path as you strive to be a good citizen as a Christian in this fallen world.



Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.

 

About the Author


JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.


Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub.


Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel.


Visit MSS Live Well Corner and our Ko-Fi MSS Community.




0 comments