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  • Today's Daily Devotion
Second Chances—Do We Take Them?
AFTER BEING appointed chief, my friend shared that his promotion left an opening that three candidates vied for. The former chief always promoted the candidate with the ...

Chief Lee Callahan, Burlington, MA; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International Regional Director / International Board Member

SECOND CHANCES—DO WE TAKE THEM?

Submitting to authority is not always easy

AFTER BEING appointed chief, my friend shared that his promotion left an opening that three candidates vied for. The former chief always promoted the candidate with the highest scores, regardless of the person’s experience or ability. My friend felt if he continued that policy it would negatively affect the long-term health of the department. After much deliberation, and believing that the candidate with the second-highest score would bring the most talent, skill, and enthusiasm to the job of company officer, he promoted him.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

This decision was met with skepticism by some department members. This wasn’t the way things had been done before, and they didn’t like changes in past practices. However, the passed-over candidate, while disappointed, did not lose his focus despite peer pressure to file a grievance against the chief. Instead he asked the chief for a meeting to find out why he’d been passed over. The chief agreed and began by positively listing the candidate’s strongpoints. Then he explained what he viewed as some of the candidate’s weaknesses, stating they were the reasons he was not given the officer’s job. After this frank discussion, the candidate immersed himself in the day’s workload at the fire station.

Several days later, after mulling over what the chief said, he met with the chief again. “After thinking over what you said,” he stated, “I want you to know I’m going to change my ways and try to develop a better attitude and improve my skills. Hopefully when another promotion opens, I’ll be Number 1 on the list.”

The chief encouraged his new attitude and offered his assistance. A year later, when another promotion opportunity arose, the chief promoted him without hesitation. Today, the chief considers the once passed-over candidate as one of his best and most trusted officers.

Submitting to authority is not always easy, but God has ordained it. Only if we are asked to do what is contrary to God’s law should we refuse to submit to the authorities placed over us. We may not always agree with or like their orders, but we are clearly told to follow them: “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities… ” (Romans 13:1).

Prayer:

Lord, instead of looking at the difficult challenges that come my way and rebuking the authorities I don’t agree with, I will look to you and your grace.


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