We are all children of Adam and Eve. They rebelled against God’s authority. We too have problems with authority. As a seaman recruit at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, I was a 17 year old boy who joined the Navy for 01 peaceexcitement and adventure. But I discovered with the very first military haircut that the Navy was more concerned about my learning discipline and obeying orders than they were about my having excitement and adventure. I had to learn to get up early, make my own bed (military style), shave, shine my shoes, polish my brass and put on clean clothes every day whether I wanted to or not. I had to learn to be on time and to be submissive and respectful to a middle aged man who screamed into my face whenever I didn’t do any of the above things to his satisfaction. I did not like being pushed around but it didn’t take too long to learn the benefits of obedience to rightfully appointed authority.

Solomon teaches us this truth in Ecclesiastes 8:5. It says, “Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.” By the time we finished boot camp most of the 87 recruits in my company had learned that quiet obedience and submission to authority results in, if not a happy life, at least a quiet and peaceful life. But Larry from Georgia never seemed to get the message. He spent more time doing pushups and cleaning heads (bathrooms for you landlubbers!) than anyone else. He proved Solomon’s premise. Obeying commands keeps evil things away, disobeying brings them on!

God wants us all to live peaceful lives. Paul instructs us in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 to, “Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business, and do your own work as we have already told you.” The reason Paul gives us is that by living this way unbelievers will see and will respect us and possibly become receptive to Christ. The importance of this is seen when Paul instructs his young disciple and all believers in 1 Timothy 2:2 to “Pray for kings. Pray for all who are in authority. Pray that we will live peaceful and quiet lives. And pray that we will be godly and holy.” Living healthy, wholesome and peaceful lives in this world is one of the strongest testimonies that a Christian can have. You see it’s not enough just to get by in our society. We should stand out as positive examples. This is how we can truly be lights in a dark world. Augustine argued that Christians are to be the best citizens: what others do only because the law demands, we do out of love for God.