Submissive vs Compliant

Believers, the disciples of Jesus Christ, are called to be submissive people. On the other hand it seems Americans devalue submission – no, they despise submission. This results in a very natural conflict over submission for the American Church. Unfortunately, it seems the result has often been simple compliance. I think most church attenders in this country would call themselves “obedient”, “submissive”, or even followers.

I would then ask such a person, “Are you a submissive believer or simply a compliant one?”

You may be saying, “How do I know which I am, they sound the same to me?”

Let’s try an illustration:

Driving down the road in a rural, lonely area, the sign next to the highway reads “Speed Limit – 55”. You’re late for an appointment, there are simply no other cars around, and you set your cruise control for, what you feel is, the fastest you can morally go.

I could ask you what that speed would be; 54, 55, or somewhat higher, but I won’t.

Let me ask you this: If a police car passes by, what will your reaction be? Do you watch the rear-view mirror like I do? Do you maybe even tap the brakes lightly to make sure you drop a mile or two in speed?

Why would I ask that question, and why would I ask it in that way? I think we have a tendency to “follow the rules” much more with a mind toward fear of the consequences than a true, deep-seated desire to obey.

I use the illustration I do because it is very revealing about me, and it may be that you have no problem in that area. If so, you might want to think of an area where you struggle with “obeying the rules”, because I believe most of us – and Americans in particular – fight a battle every day in this area.

I say that because I think most people that know me would have a tendency to place me in the “submissive” category, when in reality I probably am much more simply compliant – and need to continue to work on becoming submissive.

Let’s define the two ideas and see if you might not feel kind of the same way:

Compliant is defined as “inclined to agree with others or obey rules; especially to an excessive degree.”

Submissive could be defined as, “a voluntary placing of ourselves under the authority and leadership of someone else; with a desire to obey and respect out of a spirit of love.” – this definition is my own.

Now, I know, I’m no real accepted authority on the subject; but if you begin a study of true Biblical submission I think you’ll find that the definition is correct. We, as Americans especially, have been programmed to see submission as a negative thing, and something that someone within our sphere of influence imposes upon us. That’s not what Scripture means!

To be honest disciples of Jesus Christ, we must be people committed to submission. Because the implications are so extreme. Scripture is filled with examples and commands of areas in which we are called to be submissive – to freely place ourselves under the will and desire of someone else.

So, I ask again, “Are you a submissive disciple or simply a compliant one?” If you’re interested in those types of questions, I would invite you to stop by countrylifedisciple.com and look at some of the free stuff pages. I’m also interested to hear your comments on the topic – because I think discipleship revolves around the concept. What about you?

20130804-212944.jpg

Advertisements