And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’” Acts 23:5
The high priest just had Paul slapped in the face for sharing the Gospel. Paul then insults the high priest, which most of us probably would do if we weren’t too afraid. After this he is told he insulted the high priest and we have Acts 23:5. This can be a hard verse to swallow; we aren’t supposed to speak evil of a ruler. But what if we don’t agree? Too bad, do not speak evil of a ruler. A ruler can refer to your boss, supervisor, elected official, the president, maybe some other leader in your life. But why shouldn’t we speak evil of a ruler? Some might say because it hurts our witness, which it does. But, it is deeper. Lets look at the verse Paul references:
You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. Exodus 22:28
When we speak evil of a ruler, we are questioning God’s authority to appoint those who are in charge (Romans 13:1-3). Does this mean we have to be happy with how everything is going? No. Does this mean we can’t respectfully disagree? No! We need to remember to trust God and not speak to others about how horrible the ruler is and how we could do better. If we truly believe God is in charge, then we can trust that he will put the right people over us at the right time and in the right circumstances. As Christians we need to make an effort to curb negative speech about our rulers and repent when necessary, because we are really cutting down God.
Think of a something kind to say today about the rulers around you