Acts 23:5 – Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
When is the last time you heard someone having “roast pastor,” or perhaps even more noticeable today, “roast president,” or some other national leader? Having served one church as pastor for twenty-eight years, and in many of those years serving in a leadership role for twenty-one other pastors, I can assure you that “roast pastor” is, sadly, quite a common meal, especially in automobiles traveling between church and some other location.
However, my purpose is not to talk just about that. Take a moment and read our Text for Today once more. Please note the command in the final eleven words of that text. “Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of they people.” That command should be given strong consideration in more than one leadership relationship. We have a “ruler” in the White House. We have a “ruler” in state government mansions. We have a “ruler” in many offices of business and industry. We have a “ruler” in the local church. I do not speak of them as “rulers” in the sense of having command control over someone, but of someone in a leadership role in which he truly holds authority over other people, and with that authority, carries grave responsibility.
In our world of comfort seekers, instant gratification, easy beliefism, and loose criticism, “roasting” leaders is an all-too-common occurrence. It is so easy to be critical of one’s pastor. It is likewise true of bosses and business leaders. Any time someone does or says something that we perceive as less than favorable to us, we in America find it so easy to exercise our First Amendment rights, and we use that freedom of speech to verbally slice and dice leadership. My friend, such attitude and action is completely unbiblical. In simpler and much clearer terms, it is sin! I urge you to take these words to heart. If you engage in such talk, PLEASE, stop it now, repent, confess the sin, and put it out of your life.
And more than that, guard you ears. Jesus said that we should take heed what and how we hear. If you allow such seed as this kind of evil speaking to be sown into your life, it is likely that at some point you will bear fruit of that seed by the words you hear yourself saying. Guard yourself, protect your hearing, and control your tongue. In the present political attitude in our nation, and even in international affairs, hearing leaders maligned and cursed is common. Such speech should NEVER come from the lips of a child of God, regardless of political party or persuasion. Such things ought not be. Rather, pray for those who have authority over you. Be a doer of the Word, and not a foolish refuser.
Manna for Today – Acts 23:1-11; Exodus 22:28; Ephesians 4:29-32; 1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalm 105:15; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1