What Is Submission?

Written By Ben Laur

Associate Pastor - Olathe Campus

Blog | Rediscovering Jesus' Kingdom

Just hearing the word can stir up strong emotions and make us uncomfortable. You know, the dreaded “s” word. Are you ready for it? Submit.

Just hearing the word can stir up strong emotions and make us uncomfortable. You know, the dreaded “s” word. Are you ready for it? Submit.

Popularly speaking, when people use the word submit, they often mean to honor or serve another person, especially in a way that requires self-denial. Given this understanding, a tension becomes clear: we want to honor others, but we know it is going to cost us something.

We know we ought to honor one another, and we want to honor others. Romans 12:10 tells us to “Outdo one another in showing honor.” 1 Peter 2:17 tells us to “Honor everyone,” and to “Honor the emperor.” Jesus taught in Matthew 22:37-40 that all of the Law and Prophets are summarized in the command to love God with our whole beings, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. How exactly that looks may vary from one situation to the next, but the point is this: we have a responsibility to love others in a way that often requires us to lay down our preferences and yield to the other for their good.

Jesus is our example

Jesus Himself is the ultimate example of this. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” John 13 recounts how Jesus took the posture of a servant by washing His disciples’ feet, leaving us an example of humble service to others. And Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus took the form of a servant and humbled Himself, even to the point of His shameful death on a cross.

Just as humbling Himself to serve others cost Jesus, we know that humbling ourselves to serve others will cost us as well. If we let others go first, we may have to wait or even go without. If I give to you, I will have less for myself. If I defer and let you have things your way, I may not get things my way. But as we practice this, we follow the example of Jesus and position ourselves to receive from Jesus.

Freedom in Jesus

The reality is that Jesus is a far better Lord for us than we are for ourselves. As we yield our own preferences and practice self-denial for the sake of others, we experience a freeness from our own tyrannical wills as God’s will becomes ours.

In the following weeks, we will explore various relationships where we see this kind of self-denial for the sake of others. For now, know that as followers of Jesus, others have a claim on our lives in one way or another, and that as we humbly surrender our own wills for the good of another, we find we are freed from our own selfish ways to experience the freedom of Jesus.

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Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

8 Comments

  1. Eben Fowler

    Would it be possible to include a short bit of info on each day’s author? I am not familiar with Ben but it would be helpful to know his title and which campus he serves, assuming he is a staff member.

    Thank you

    Also, the comment fields are not labeled, so I’m not sure where the email address is supposed to go or what the other fields are intended to be used for.

    Reply
    • Jeannie Lucas

      Thank Eben. We are looking into the comment field labels to see why the don’t show on some devices. We have added the author’s titles as well. Thanks for the feedback.

      Reply
  2. Carol Piepho

    Thank you! That “s” word… 😉

    Reply
  3. Bobby Hess

    “As we yield our own preferences and practice self-denial for the sake of others, we experience a freeness from our own tyrannical wills as God’s will becomes ours.”

    Lord, help me to practice self-denial and in humility count others as more significant than myself. I want to experience Your will and be freed from my own selfish ambitions.

    Reply
  4. Helen Quarnstrom

    Who is Ben Laur?

    Reply
    • Jeannie Lucas

      Ben is one of our Residents. An Associate Pastor at the Olathe Campus.

      Reply
  5. Dave Gerrasch

    In the current environment where there is just so much division, reaching out to others of different religious and political persuasions has never been more difficult but never more necessary. Even in more peaceful times it is not easy being a follower of Jesus. Many roadblocks are continually being hurled in front of us. However if we are to find peace in our lives and pave the road to the next, we must follow His example and love and respect those who differ. I know personally that it is not easy but I will continue to reach out in an effort to become a better person and bring a little peace to a turbulent world.

    Reply
  6. Tim Frank

    Your statement :”If we let others go first, we may have to wait or even go without. ” Really caught me off-guard and really made me examine my “me first” life. Thanks

    Reply

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