Self-discipline is an important practice to cultivate in developing our leadership skills. And submission is an important part of developing that self-discipline.
Submission is a spiritual principle that has powerful application in the natural realm. As 1 Corinthians 10:33-11:1 says, we should follow Christ’s example, so others can follow our example—so that still others might be saved.
We must be willing to discipline ourselves to submit to a higher authority to prepare ourselves for leading others. In order to become good leaders, we must first become good followers.
Submission means putting aside our own desires for the benefit of others. And that’s why it is so hard. And why it is so important.
Here are three scenarios where you can cultivate your ability to submit in order to improve your leadership ability.
In order for your children to want to submit to you, you must first show them that you are submitting to God. Otherwise you are planting seeds of rebellion.
You cannot expect your children to want to obey you if you are not willing to demonstrate obedience to God. If you demand their obedience without showing yours, the Hypocrisy Police will come after you.
You must give your children a model of obedience to follow. So they will know how it’s done. And so they will want to follow you.
In order for your team to follow you at the workplace, you must willingly submit to your boss. Without complaining.
If you do not honor your boss behind his back to your employees, then they will not honor you behind your back. You must give respect in order to earn it.
You must model submission to your team so they can replicate it. Because they will do whatever they see you doing.
In order to be in leadership in church, you must be willing to submit to those in authority over you. Why should anyone put you in leadership if you will not submit to others’ leadership?
Hebrews 13:17 says we should obey those in the church who are in authority over us because they watch over our souls. They have authority over us for our benefit, not the other way around.
If you desire to be a leader in the church, you desire a good thing (1 Timothy 3:1). But it will only be good for you if you are willing to do it God’s way.
God has set up submission to authority as a system to benefit us (Ephesians 5:21-23). Children submit to their parents. Wives submit to their husbands. Men submit to Christ.
If we circumvent God’s design, it will not go well with us. But if we are willing to submit to those in authority over us, then we will demonstrate our leadership through our followership. Just like Christ did in submitting to His Father: not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42).
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