Last time, I posted about the idea of submission to the Lord’s will, and how and why it is hard, specifically for women, to do so. At the end of my post, I promised that I’ll be writing a sequel to that, tackling what attitudes we must develop in order to do the act of submission. So here it is. (so I hope this clarifies that you shouldn’t take the title literally that you’d spell ‘submission’as ‘submishon’ or ‘submischion’..what?!)
The other day, I thought of just writing the ‘h’ attitude. But just yesterday morning, I stumbled upon a post so moving that it triggered me to add the ‘c’ (But I’d reserve the latter for my next post). So the thesis is, “It takes h_________ to submit; and it takes c________ to h______ oneself.”
So much for the guessing game (I don’t have prizes for that anyway, LOL). The first attitude we need to have is something that may cost us our sense of self. We are naturally proud and self-centered. We take care so much of our ego. As much as possible, we want to assert our rights and capability to do things our own way. So with this nature, how can we submit? Is it really possible for us to submit?
In my previous post, I cited Jesus Christ as the perfect example of the act of submission when he fulfilled the Lord’s plan of salvation to mankind. Now, for the ‘h’ attitude, I won’t change my example. It is actually found on the last verse cited on my earlier post.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on the cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name… – Philippians 2:8-9
It takes humility to submit. I consulted my ever-reliable friend Merriam-Webster on what it has to say about that word. It says:
noun \hyü-ˈmi-lə-tē, yü-\: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people
Dory works as a teacher. Despite her rich education background (graduate of two MA degrees here and abroad, got high ratings at the Teacher’s Licensure Exam), she hasn’t risen from the ranks since she got into teaching. Here’s why. In all education institutions she applied in, she wouldn’t submit to the assigned school principal or institution’s dean because she always thought she’s better than all of them or that she can perform better than they do. As a result, she’d always end up resigning and applying for other institutions. One of her colleagues in her first school, Mara, has always shown respect for her superiors and submitted to the institution’s policies and guidelines in teaching. Promotions came her way easily and she is now a school dean.
If we’re like Dory and think we are better than God, we’ll probably end up like her–we won’t be able to submit. We’ll always find ways to prove that we think better, we decide better. And if God proves us wrong, like Dory, we’ll keep searching for affirmation from somewhere or someone else. Pride will just lead us to a downward spiral. Whereas, if we adopt Mara’s attitude of humility, and submission to the Lord’s will, He will take care of everything else. Surely, blessings will come when God fulfills His plans for us. Remember this passage?
In one scenario in Matthew, Jesus taught his disciples the virtue of humility in this:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, asking, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” So Jesus called a child to come and stand in front of them, and said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child. And whoever welcomes in my name one such child as this, welcomes me. ~ Matthew 18:1-5
Have we thought of how vital humility is in entering the Kingdom of God? Come to think of it, if we do not humble ourselves like a child, we won’t be able to acknowledge that there is Someone greater out there…Someone who rules over us and Someone who holds the blueprint of our lives. And for this, we won’t be able to accept Jesus as Lord and King of our lives. If we’re also not humble, we won’t follow orders. We will be hard-headed. Think of the children and observe their ways. They easily follow. They have teachable hearts, and they don’t complain when their parents direct them or ask them to do something. Try to recall your ‘humility moments’ when you were a child.
Jesus wants us to be as humble as children. Thank God because when He gave us His Spirit and made us born-again, he turned our prideful hearts into humble hearts (Ezekiel 11:19-20). He enabled us to accept that we are sinners and to realize that we need Him to save us, and that we cannot live our lives on our own. He enabled us to enter His Kingdom by humbling us.
Let us keep on practicing this virtue so we may continually submit to Him. It’s easier said than done. There are instances when humility costs so much pain. We need the ‘c’ to do so.
In my next post, let us find out why it takes courage to humble oneself.