The limits of patriotism - Hope 103.2

The limits of patriotism

By David ReayWednesday 26 Feb 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Peter 2:13-17

13 For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution,whether of the emperor as supreme,14 or of governors,as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.

15 For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. 16 As servants of God,live as free people,yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. 17 Honour everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honour the emperor. (NLT)

When it comes to attitudes towards our nation we can go to extremes. We can dismiss it because we don’t like the politics,the climate,the culture. Or we can form an attachment that is akin to idolatry,”My country right or wrong”. Or even more dangerous,”My country,God’s chosen nation”.

As Peter reminds us,we do have obligations to our nation. But these obligations are part of a wider network of responsibilities. Christians are to be good citizens,making the nation in which they live a better place because they are in it. But they are ultimately subjects of the Lord Jesus.

And no matter how good a nation might be,it stands under the overarching Lordship of Jesus and fails to do justice to it. Some countries might come closer than others,but none is immune from universal rebellion against God.

We do well to love our country and be thankful for its many blessings. But we dare not glorify it in a way that grants us a sort of moral superiority in God’s sight. We dare not let love of country take precedence over our love of God. Patriotism has its limits.

David Reay

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