The Discipline of Submission


I do not remember reading through this chapter the last time I read Foster’s book. I honestly do not. But the content is something that I have taught on and heard for years. Submission is not about placing yourself into someone else’s power, it is about freeing one’s self to celebrate the upside-down way God works in our world.

You see, this whole idea of the last being first and the first being last? It is true, and it was a major teaching point of Jesus’. He calls us to live a cross-bearing life every day, and to seek to serve others rather than to serve ourselves. Submission is all about putting everyone else first, because there is no real hierarchy in God’s mind.

I applaud Foster for not giving us a formulaic chapter on how to submit, and how far to go. His thoughts on how we are to submit to the point that it becomes destructive should be enough. Some situations are going to be different from others, and will require more or less submission on our parts. I have been trying to perfect this discipline for years. In my first full-time post, it was often referred to (unintentionally, I am certain) as “practicing deference.” There was merit to stepping aside and allowing the will of others in the church to be primary over my own. But there were times when I was expected to “practice deference” that were damaging both to my ministry, and to my own soul. I am obviously no longer at that church, and do not look to that leadership for my Spiritual guidance.

This was a solid chapter. Not the most detailed, or even the most helpful on a practical level (how much, how often, etc.). But a very necessary chapter for us all to spend time reading.

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