Romans 13:3 - For rulers and authorities hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
When you are driving and you see a police officer does your heart skip a beat? If you are driving next to one does it make you nervous? I have to be honest, there are many times when this is my reaction as well.
Why do we feel this way? Because we are afraid we will get caught doing something, such as speeding, that we are not supposed to. If we get into the habit of going the speed limit and obeying the law we would have nothing to worry about.
Police officers have a job to do and that job is to encourage people to obey the law and to punish those who do not. If you feel like the cops are out to get you it is probably because you are a law breaker and they are doing their job.
This is just one example of this verse in action. There are many other things that could have you ‘looking over your shoulder.’ How about downloading music or movies off the internet illegally? Many have accepted this as OK because it ‘doesn't hurt anyone,’ but it is still breaking the law and will hurt you if you get caught.
Really it comes down to you. Is there anything in your life that has you worried that you will get caught? If you are obeying the law then you will have nothing to worry about. That is what Paul is talking about here.
If you want to be free from those in authority do what is right. Then, instead of getting punished you may get rewarded. Plus you won’t have to constantly worry when you are around someone who is in authority. Just being free from that stress will be reward enough.