Submission to the other

Ephesians 5:8-21

As we walk in Jesus’ self-sacrificial love, we walk in the light. Often, we speak of light and darkness as though they are equals or that they have the same power or authority against each other. The most important thing to remember, though, is that in the presence of light, there is no darkness. Darkness is defined as the absence of light. In the same way, Paul tells us that we should always walk in the light and that by doing so, we will expose those things in other people’s lives that they try to hide in the darkness.

When we enter into a relationship with God, we let the light of his glory shine on us. The closer that we come to God as we get to know him better, the more things about us come to light or are visible in that light. This is the scary part about drawing closer to God. His light often reveals to us more of the things that we need to change in our lives in order to maintain good relationship with him. Much like the moon, we then begin to reflect the light of God’s glory onto our neighbors’ lives, for as Paul says, “anything that becomes visible is light” (5:14). As we continue walking, we move in wisdom, making the best use of the time that we have here on earth, being drunk with the spirit rather than wine, giving thanks for all that we have and that God has done, and submitting to each other out of respect for Christ’s example of submission to all people. But what does it mean to submit to another person? Is it complete and absolute obedience to whatever he or she says? We have distorted the meaning of submission in the church. Closer to the heart of Paul, I think he means that we are to be more concerned about the needs and interests of other people rather than with our own. We actually love our neighbor as much, if not more, as we love ourselves. Our lives are no longer driven by our selfish motives but by the needs of the people around us. This is how we submit to each other.  As teachers, how can we walk in the light and submit to each other? How can we be just as concerned about the needs of our fellow teachers and neighbors in our villages as we are about our own needs and wants?

Ntate Neo

Other thoughts:

When I say walk in the light, though, I am not saying that a person has to be perfect and that a person’s perfection will help others see their faults. I wonder if it doesn’t mean that the more we walk in love, people will respond to that love and begin to walk in it. By loving them, we are shining the light on them. Then they have the choice of either stepping into the light or staying in the darkness. Also, I wonder if it has something to do with the self-sacrificial love that Jesus used to show that in God’s Kingdom, what is seen as weakness is really strength and that the least will be the greatest.


~ by randallkoehler on July 10, 2012.

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