is a Community in Christ:
Submitting to Each Other
Does submitting to one another mean being a doormat for someone else? Does it mean letting someone run all over us? Does it mean that anyone, who is aggressive and assertive by personality has a right to impose their will on someone who is easy going and amiable?
Unfortunately, some people would answer yes to all these questions. They believe that is what the verse in Ephesians 5:21 means. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
In this series of articles about fellowship, which means loving one another, we have been discussing the specific ways in which the Lord teaches us to relate to one another.
In the book THE MEASURE OF THE CHURCH BY Gene Getz, from which I have been drawing some of my comments and sights; there is this quote.
“Submissiveness is the opposite of selfish and self-centered behavior. ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,’ wrote Paul to the Philippians 2:3,4, ‘but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.’”
“Unfortunately, some Christians can never make way for someone else. If they are not the center of attention, they are unhappy and distraught. If they don't have the last word they are frustrated. This, of course, is not the way of Christ and certainly is not the way of love.”
How can we apply this in the life and ministry of the church and also in the relationships in the routine of daily living. It is listening to another person's ideas, in the course of a discussion in a committee meeting. It is listening to another person while conversing over a cup of coffee, instead of trying to interrupt with your personal thoughts or a personal story. It is letting someone else go first in a discussion, when two people start to speak at the same time.
The capability of being able to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, is found only as we have the mind of Christ in us; “who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Many people today are afraid of making themselves available, vulnerable; there is a fear of being stepped on, manipulated and taken advantage of. It is so refreshing when the community of believers in Christ are submitting to one another and serving one another out of reverence and in honor of Christ.
The following story illustrates in one way how to serve and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ in the routine of life.
A teacher asked a boy this question on fractions: ‘Suppose that your mother baked an apple pie, and there were seven of you—your parents and five children. What part of the pie would you get?’ ‘A sixth, ma'am,’ the boy answered. ‘But there are seven of you,’ said the teacher. ‘Don't you know anything about fractions?’ ‘Yes, teacher,’ replied the boy, ‘I know all about fractions, but I know my mother quite well. Mother would say, she did not want any pie.’
Let us serve and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,
who gave Himself that we might live, love, submit and serve one another!
Striving to Serve in Honesty & Humbleness!
-Pastor Perry DeGroot