Monday, June 11, 2007

My Humble Monday Submission

This is my blog submission for today. I hope you find it "blog-worthy".

I led a discussion in our small group last night about...submission.

As expected, when I first threw the word out for initial thoughts and observations, we couldn't get past the biblical call for wives to submit to their husbands. As I'm sure many discussions on submission have gone before, we were stuck in that same proverbial mud.

I declared that issue to be out of bounds for the rest of our discussion, and led us to consider submission to government, our employers, our church leadership, and finally to each other as fellow disciples. Yet even among those topics, our discussion kept heading straight toward "exceptions" and "exemptions" - bringing up situations where we felt justified in not submitting to those authorities.

I think maybe we have a problem with submission.

The fact that we immediately get so defensive when we try to talk about it is our first clue.

Perhaps it is because Paul's words in Ephesians about husbands and wives have been used as a club against women too often. Perhaps it is because submission goes totally against American culture. We are quick to demand and defend our rights - after all, two of our most revered American documents are the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. We have the mindset of a toddler that cries, "Nobody is the boss of me!"

We need to be reminded that as Christians, we honor God by submitting to the authorities He has placed in our lives. It doesn't matter if that authority is arrogant, corrupt, or even ungodly at times. I'm quite sure those words could be used to describe the Roman Empire that Paul lived under, yet he taught to submit to the governing authorities and pay your taxes all the same.

Jesus was the ultimate example of submission. He submitted to the Father's will, even though it meant death on a cross. He submitted to mistreatment at the hands of the authorities, even though He was without fault.

And here we find ourselves demanding our rights when faced with far less mistreatment.

Lord, forgive us. Too often we submit only to our own pride and arrogance, not to You. Help us to recognize that the reason we should submit to the authorities You have placed in our lives is because we choose first to submit to You, not because those authorities make sense or are necessarily right, just, or true. And give us the strength and wisdom to stop making excuses.


Brenda said...

Thank you for sharing that Shane. Wish I was part of that discussion last night. I needed to hear it. I often find that I can submit, but have difficulty when I do am doing it and others don't. Especially in my work environment. Then I feel my submission is void because of my attitude toward those who make a choice not to submit.
This falls on my eyes and mind after an extremely difficult weekend at work and lots of tears. Thanks!


I think one of the things that made David a man after God's own heart was his willingness to submit to God and his will. He would never raise his had against Saul even though he knew he could and was going to be the next king. But he always said, every time, "I will not raise my hand against the Lord's annointed. The Lord will be the one that judges between Saul and I."

David was being chased by Saul for doing nothing wrong yet David submitted and refused to take vengence.

Good post, Shane -


Owen B. said...

Well said, Shane. Well said.

Sweet Momma said...

Thank you for your thoughts, Shaner. I fully agree with you; and it was good to be reminded that we need to submit even though we don't agree with what the authorities may be saying etc. You were right on when you mentioned us having a problem with submission. I think one main reason for that is perhaps we haven't truly submitted our lives totally to the Father. Until we do that, we're always going to have a problem submitting to anyone because 'our' will gets in the way and we're no longer thinking what God wants. Good thoughts, Preppy!

Keith said...

Right on, Shane!