This week wraps up our look at the spiritual discipline of submission. In closing, I would like us to look at what Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline refers to as the seven acts of submission.
The first act of submission that we are to make is to God. Foster writes that our days should begin with submitting to God and surrendering ourselves. This is not only the first act of the day but should be ongoing throughout the day.
The second act of submission is to scripture, God’s Word to us. We yield ourselves to hear, receive and obey. Starting our day with reading God’s Word is a great way to begin. What is He trying to say to us through our reading? Is there something for me to learn, repent of, or change?
The third act of submission is to our family. We are to listen to each other, make allowances for each other, and share life with each other.
The fourth act of submission is to those whose paths we cross throughout the day; those we refer to as our neighbors. This could be physical neighbors or in a broader sense. We are called to acts of kindness and service to them. I’m pretty sure this also applies to words we say or type to or about others.
The fifth act of submission is to the Church at large – Christ’s body on earth. We are to intentionally look for ways to be involved in the life of the Church, serving others.
The sixth act of submission is in Foster’s words, “to the broken and despised”. We are to identify with the marginalized. If we are truly all made in God’s image and therefore all brothers and sisters, we must see ourselves in others.
The seventh and final act of submission is to the world. Foster says it best, “Our act of submission is a determination to live as a responsible member of an increasingly irresponsible world.” The things happening to our world and the people in it should have an impact on us because we are part of this world that God created and made us stewards of.
Lots to think about. We will begin to look at the spiritual discipline of service on August 1.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach