Strong spirits: Really? Submit?


How are you with submission? Not exactly a popular term. Pretty much no one- me included- likes to think of it, except as others submitting to them, to me.

Submission flies in the face of our independence, our freedom, our rights.

And yet God tells us to submit, in two ways: Submit to God; submit to one another.

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Jesus to his followers (Matthew 16:24)

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Paul the apostle (Ephesians 5:21)

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others." Paul again (Philippians 2:3,4)

The way we know we have submitted to God is that we are able to submit to each other. We really can't submit to each other until we have submitted to God. Of course, people abuse this all the time. For it to be real, for it to be what God intends, it must be a mutual submission, and an act of deep love.

I challenge you to start each day by surrendering to Christ, and then live each day looking for ways to submit to others. In this, the full life Christ offers is to be found.

Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.

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