Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

—  Ephesians 5:21

Submission calls for humility, but we will often choose to be stubborn rather than submit. Psalm 32:9 counsels us, “Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle.”

Why does Paul say, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”? Surely it is because Christ, though being fully God, “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7). He served his disciples by washing their feet (John 13). And he died the death of a criminal—for us.

Submission to one another is selflessness. Letting another have her or his way rather than insisting on our own way is submitting to them. Making ourselves less priority is love which is the denial of self for the good of another.

If our Lord humbled himself and submitted to death on a cross, why do I feel I should be boss all the time, always in control and getting my way? Let’s learn submissiveness from him.

Father, you are the head of the church. We know it cost you your life. Take from us any desire to lord it over anyone. Give us submissive hearts toward you and others. For your sake, Amen.


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