Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. – Ephesians 5:21
I’m such a believer in proverbial iron-sharpening! What does that mean? It’s the support of Christian brothers and sisters that propels their ministry, forwards my ministry and most importantly pleases our Lord. We submit to one another because we love Christ first of all – also because our friends who are like-minded love and revere Him too. It goes beyond positive thinking or random acts of kindness. We’re friends in Christ and we minister together – with a common goal and purpose.
Submission is not understood in our world today. People today see being submissive as a definite sign of weakness, when in reality, as a child of God, it’s a choice we make because Christ did so much for us and we are workers together for His sake. If we keep the proper perspective and focus on Christ and the sacrifice He made for us, it is possible to submit to one another. We get that it’s not about us – it’s about Him.
We must be mindful to submit to one another and not make it one-sided. We never want to make our friends feel as though they are doormats to be thrown on the porch for our feet to be wiped on. I have learned it is not necessarily the wrong thing to say NO to anyone. I am human, a fact that my Savior is all too aware of… and there will be times when my ability to submit and support may be hampered due to a physical limitation or even mental exhaustion. I used to be afraid to let the flaws be known. Now I’m not a bit shy about asking for prayer support – and for a postponement. To avoid burnout, it’s important to view this as a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a lifestyle, not a phase of life. We are committed to our Savior forever.
While the context of this verse is directed toward behavior in a family unit, it’s true that the body of Christ needs to adopt similar attitudes and behaviors, don’t you agree? God’s children have so many reasons to sing for joy – whether it is on pitch or not – strong or weak voice – it makes no difference! I’m not dense enough to think the Christian life is all singing all the time – we are not always singing and are sometimes crying for any number of reasons. Regardless of our circumstances, we should be always giving thanks to Christ for His sacrifice – and showing reverence to Him – and do our best to help in ministry and have others help in ours.
There’s a sign on the door at Planet Fitness – it says, “Check egos at the door”. In other words – don’t think you are either better or worse than anyone else. Wouldn’t it be great if the body of Christ had that attitude too? We’re all on the same side – the side of Christ. We all work for Him. We’re all on the same team. Think of what could be accomplished if ego got checked at the door. Think about Jesus.
As His children we should first and foremost promote HIS glory! It’s so easy to lose focus and make it about ourselves. We really are so human but God knows that – and that’s why we need to get on our knees and humbly ask forgiveness – then try again. I love do-overs and I’ve had a lot of them.
Iron-sharpening, ego-checking and do-overs. I’m so very thankful that Jesus understands me! 🙂