As Christians we should be thankful that we have government. Government is “the group of people who officially control a country.” As Christians a part of our prayers should be for government. Paul wrote by inspiration of God, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Government exists for three basic purposes. First, government exists to protect the sacredness of human life. We were made in the image of God and therefore human life is precious. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26-27) Early on in man’s history God showed the responsibility of government in protecting human life “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6) Second, government exists to protect the good and punish the evil. “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:3-4) Third, government exists in order to provide a society in which man can live a quiet, peaceable, godly and honest life. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Government may not always do its job well in these areas, but we as Christians can always practice the best kind of government and that is self-government. The more Christ-like we become in our attitudes and actions the better society will be. We can change our world one person at a time. Let us learn to practice self-government.


          Govern yourself to praise God continually. “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalms 107:8) God should be praised because He is good all of the time. Govern yourself to mediate upon God’s perfection, to consider His greatness and to praise and serve Him continually. If we are Christians God has preserved our life and saved our soul. Redemption should stir our hearts to bless the Lord again and again.


          Govern yourself to trust in the Lord and do things His way. “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalms 34:8) Our trust in God should cause us to live for Him regardless of the daily circumstances that we may face. Proof that we have passed from death unto life is shown in that we govern our self to do the will of God lovingly and completely.


          Govern yourself to fear God always. “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Psalms 31:19) God’s goodness is infinite and it is laid up for those that fear the Lord. When we come to fear God we know He is our Creator. He is our Master or Lord. As we reverence and respect God we do what He tells us to do in His Bible.


          Govern yourself to speak of the glory of God’s kingdom, to talk about His power and to make known to others His mighty acts. “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.” (Psalms 145:9-12) As children of God we should delight to tell others about Christ and the salvation that is in Him. Let us speak to others about the glory of God’s kingdom and talk to them about His mighty power.


          Govern yourself by being faithful to God and fruitful in His service. Keep yourself in the faith. Be busy working for God. Pray more. Read the Bible more. Trust in the Lord. In order to be righteous govern yourself by the will of God. Our spiritual citizenship is through and because of Jesus, the Christ. To be saved from sin hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Luke 13:5), confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4) We should all choose God’s way because it has proven to always be the better way.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P. O. Box 551,

Greenville, Alabama 36037