Monday, 8 April 2013

Submitting to One Another

Ephesians 5:21
submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

What does it mean to submit to one another?

For any readers who may know me well personally, you will know that submission is generally not my favourite topic of discussion.  I can be a dominating young woman and I don't always like the idea of having to submit to other people.  But I have grown to understand it and I'm learning to live it, although not without glitches.  Well, parts of it anyway.

I can understand submission to authority.  God tells us in His Word that we are to submit to Him, to parents, to husbands, to government leaders, to our elders, and to every ordinance of man.  It's not always easily done, but I get it.  However, in his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tells the church to submit themselves to one another.  In other words, they were supposed to submit themselves to the ordinary people in the church, people on the same level as them.

This is something I have only come to understand in recent weeks, and it hasn't come easy.  What does submitting to one another mean for my life?  It means I don't always get my way.  It means people make decisions that I wouldn't have made and I have to go along with it.  Sometimes it means that if I let people in on my ideas, they have different ideas, and in the end, it doesn't turn out the way I anticipated.  I may not even get any credit.  And I have to be okay with that.  I choose to be okay with it, not because I always agree, but to keep the peace and not cause problems and divisions.  Also, sometimes what I perceive to be good for me, I can clearly see is not good for someone else.  Then I yield my desires for the good of someone else.

I'm also a person who likes to have a plan and work my plan.  Submitting to one another means I no longer govern my schedule as if it's all about me.  I hold my time, my plans, and resources out to God in an open hand.  If I lived on my own, it would be easy, but I live with my family, and sometimes my family has different plans for my day than I do.  Sometimes other people have different plans than I do.  So I submit and do my best to be flexible.  I look to their needs and desires before my own. I still make plans so I can be intentional about how I use my time, but I leave room for something to come up.

These are a couple ways I have been learning to submit to one another.  I'm sure in the future I will continue to have many more opportunities to practice this.  How have you been learning to submit to one another?

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