Hey there hellbilly...
I hope I can help you out, but remember, I'm no Bible master! From what I read in this passage it is telling us that we need to show responsibility in our lives in every way. We as Christians, need to live a life that others see as being responsible. This passage also talks about respect for laws and authority figures. I'll be the first one to admit that I sometimes do not talk respectively about our national leaders, but that's what this passage is saying as well. Even though we may not have voted for them or wanted them in office, we still need to show them respect. I think it's so that they don't become defensive. Have you ever been in a leader seat and everyone is against you? It's no fun and before you know it, you're taking jabs back at all the people who are jabbing you. Then, everything is out of wack. I think this is what's happening to our country right now. Our President's approval rating is so low that he's being attacked and he's having to attack back. People are on edge, even the ones who voted for him and like him. That has in itself made this country edgey and on the brink of disaster.
All in all, God is telling us to be responsible in our actions. Whatever in life brings responsibility to us, we need to man-up and take it, even if it's not good.
One thing you have to remember when reading God's word is that everything comes back to LOVE. God wants us to love one another. Even though we may not like our neighbor, or ex, or a certain politican, we have to remember this is God's creation and he loves His creation no matter what. He may not be happy with how his creation handles conflicts or how his creation treats Him, but He is a forgiving God and a loving God.
I went ahead and looked this passage up online in "The Message Bible". This translation of the Bible is NOT the true Bible, but it does NOT add anything to the Bible nor does it take anything away. It merely puts the Bible in today's language and sometimes can help understand what the Bible is trying to tell us. Here it is:
To Be a Responsible Citizen
1 -3Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it's God's order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you're irresponsible to the state, then you're irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you're trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
3 -5Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you'll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you're breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren't there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That's why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it's the right way to live.
6 -7That's also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.
8 -10Don't run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don't sleep with another person's spouse, don't take someone's life, don't take what isn't yours, don't always be wanting what you don't have, and any other "don't" you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can't go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love. 11 -14But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!