PRESCRIPTION FOR CONFLICT
Thursday, 24 October 2019
Ephesians 5 : 17-33
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” -Ephesians 5:21[NIV]
Imagine a situation in which you insist on your rights, and others insist on their rights! It turns into a chaotic situation where we become obstacles to one another. Pride is the great besetting sin of our fallen nature which is not disposed toward submission at all!
As a remedy for all the conflicts in our day, Paul from our reading today changes the whole pattern by introducing two radical factors:
First, the Christian must keep in mind that it is not merely a problem of ‘what I want’ versus ‘what you want.’ In every relationship, we have to acknowledge that there is a third Person present--the Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, when we are in disagreement with one another, be sure that Christ is there too, to make you and me aware immediately of what He has modelled and taught. It is only when we forget ourselves and devote ourselves to another's fulfillment that we will find our heart filling with His grace and running over to receive, accept, fulfill another. One of the fundamental mysteries of life is feeling fulfilled in reaching out to satisfy another’s needs. The Bible says, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" (Matthew 16:25).
By submitting to one another, we surrender our own rights or will. It is not that submissive people think less of themselves; rather, they just think about themselves less while thinking of others! The power of submission can be found only in a heart of Love. Then it will come from the inside rather than the outside; it will be a voluntary choice rather than a legal obligation.
We submit to each other not necessarily, because he/she personally merits the submission, but because by submitting we are obeying God's Word and thus honoring God - It is "out of reverence for Christ." Because of the place Christ occupies in our life and what He has done on the Cross for us, we are to submit to one another. We may not be able to trust the one we are submitting to, but we can trust God to work it through for us.
The remarkable manifestation of true submission is seen in our Lord Jesus submitting of Himself to the Father, which was voluntary on his part. Submission does not mean inequality. Literally, it means to "put yourself under, position yourself under someone, for a good and right purpose."
As John Calvin argues when a husband lovingly bears the burdens of his wife, is that not subjection? When a father lovingly gives himself for his children, there is subjection. Yes, it is mutual subjection, without abandoning the God-given authority.
Those who are born of the Spirit, led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit – in the midst of a world that laughs at submission – are given all the resources we need to cure any conflict in our relationships. In Christ through the power of His Spirit we are granted the grace and power to submit to one another.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for the blessedness in the act of “submission.”
I pray that I may bring honor to Your name by living a life of submission.
Listen- 'I surrender all’
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