This is the next post in a series of Christian adaptations of the Tao Te Ching, not delivered in the original order, but as the Spirit moves me. See the first chapter here.

In the beginning, the people did not have rulers.
Later, rulers emerged and the people loved and praised them.
Next, the people feared them;
now they despise them.
When the rulers no longer believe in God,
the people no longer believe in them.
When the rulers follow the Spirit of God,
work is performed without unnecessary speech
and the people say “We did it ourselves”.