Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (The Christ Hymn, Phil 2:3-4)
The spiritual discipline of submission operates on two planes. We first submit ourselves fully to God and His Word and then we follow the example of Jesus and take an attitude of submission to others. Submission is not slavery. It is the willing humility of oneself to another, making their needs paramount to your own in emulation of the humiliation of Christ on your behalf. In addition to imitation, the Christian subordinates themselves to others in love, valuing them and treating them according to kingdom principles.
When this topic is preached in the modern Christian church it is often stated in general terms. We submit to our neighbors and those we encounter in our daily lives. True submission however requires that we be more intentional in our quest. We must remember to practice submission within our families carrying their burdens and being transparent in our own. We are to seek out opportunities to honor the broken and despised by being among them and loving them. Perhaps the great challenge of submission is to practice this discipline within our community of belief. As the Church mirrors the culture and its emphasis on recognition and position, we seek the lowliest ministries far away from the platform to demonstrate the love of Christ within the Body.
The discipline of submission is the least natural of all of the practices. Our self rebels against it, insisting that it get its own way. We train ourselves to control this desire, to understand that the sacrifice made on our behalf by the God of All makes it uneccessary to continue to demand what we see as ours. We can have confidence that as we submit ourselves to others, they may soon do the same for us.