How To Transform Your Relationships

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

hand in hand
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:1317

There is that dirty word—submit. I do not like it any more than you do. In fact, I hate it. It goes against my human nature. It is too painful and requires too much work. I do not like having to submit to my boss, my supervisor, my wife, my parents, or anyone else for that matter. Life would just be so much easier if everyone would just submit to me. Yeah, right! We would never actually talk like that, but let's be honest, we sure act like that a lot of the time. Therein lays the problem. Whether it is work, our marriages, or our relationship with God, our failure to submit when we need to is our greatest problem.

I think we struggle with the concept of submission because we have a poor definition of what it means to submit. Yes, the definition does include obedience, but the meaning Peter is using in these verses goes to a completely different level that is based on relationship. The biblical definition of the word submit is described as a voluntary attitude of giving in; cooperation; assuming responsibility; carrying a burden. This describes how Jesus submitted to the Father. Our definition tends to be defined by how we do things. God's definition is defined by relationship. Because of who we are we willingly assume the responsibility that comes with our identity. Willing submission is the act of entering into a joint-partnership with someone, much like marriage. I submit to God, not because I have to, but because of who he is and what he has done for me. Because of that, I naturally want to. I can then submit to my boss, spouse, parents, or others in the body of Christ because I understand that submitting to them is submitting to God.

As you go about your day, determine to submit to God not because you have to, but because you want to. See it as an extension of your personal relationship with him rather than an act you do for him. As you do this, I suspect you will find that it will transform your relationships with those around you.
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