Submission

It’s been years since I set foot in a gym, much less lifted a weight. I run fairly often, but the gym has seemed like a daunting task. I want to be in better shape but I have a million excuses why hitting the gym won’t work. I’m too busy, not enough time, my wife needs me home to help with the kids, it costs money (and I’m cheap), it’s intimidating…..and the list goes on. Well, I finally made the decision to get back after it. Just one catch: I don’t even know where to begin. If I go to the gym, I have no clue where to start with lifting weights. I need guidance. I need counsel. I need…dare I say it……help. That means I have to willingly submit myself to someone else’s authority.

Submission isn’t a word we like to use very often. Especially not us men. The truth is, I’m not the best CEO of my life. If left to my own devices, I’ll get into the gym and waste time, energy, money and probably hurt myself and ultimately not get the results I want. So I need someone to guide me; on their terms, not mine. Think about it: what good would it do for me to go to a personal trainer and tell him what workouts I think I should be doing? The whole point of going to him is to submit to his authority, wisdom, structure and direction. You’d be surprised how many people do this with counseling. They come to me after decades of sexual integrity issues and tell me what I should do to help them. It’s almost comical. Folks like that usually aren’t ready for help; because they aren’t ready to submit. It’s obvious when someone walks in the door and is serious about help. They say something like this, ” I’ve tried everything I know to do and its not working. So, I don’t know what its going to take, but I’ll do whatever I have to do – just tell me what that is”.

My path to physical health requires submission to a trainer. My journey towards sexual integrity has required submission to God first and foremost, then my accountability partners, my wife, pastors, the church and my counselor. This journey has forced me to acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers and I’m wise to submit myself to those that have nuggets of truth I can borrow. Here’s a snapshot of what the bible says about submission:

Proverbs 12:15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
   wise people take advice

Proverbs 11:14 Without good direction, people lose their way;
   the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

Hebrews 13:17 Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?

I urge you to consider who you may need to submit to. Perhaps your pastor? Or counselor? Or to your wife? To God? If you find yourself reluctant to do so it could point to the next step in your journey. Press in, and see what your hesitance is about. Submission is not easy and is sometimes unpleasant, but remaining our own authority is foolish at best and outright dangerous at worst.