Our society values the rights of the individual so highly that everything we do to each other seems to be measured against those rights. Human rights are the two buzzwords of our century.
This is of course not a bad thing. We do have to protect the weak against exploitation by the strong. Every person should have the right to the basic needs such as a roof over their heads, a safe place to sleep in, education and the ability to read and write, sufficient food and drink and protection against violence. If we could live in a world where these rights are respected, it would certainly be a better place than what it is now.
However, like with many other things, we often take these things too far. How often have you heard that “the criminal has more rights than the victim”? Sometimes we get obsessed by a good thing and then simply take it too far. Our rights as individuals became entrenched in the way we think. Today, most individuals refuse to submit to any kind of authority since it violates, in some way or the other, their rights. Submission is enforced through fear campaigns. You can simply watch advertisements against drinking and driving or speeding all over the world and you will know what I mean. You do not abstain from these things because it is the right thing to do, but rather because you are afraid of getting caught.
We therefore became used to the idea of submitting to authority out of fear and not out of duty to do the right thing, regardless of the circumstances. The concept of voluntary submission has become foreign to us.
This issue is also addressed by Paul when he speaks to the Ephesian church about living the Christian life. He starts off by describing our life among each other, and then moves on relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children and then finally masters and salves. When you read this passage (Ephesians 5 and 6) he ends the first section by saying that we should submit to each other. In the same way that I submit to my Christian brother, he should submit to me. For me, this spells out only one word: accountability. Paul is saying that we should be accountable to each other – that means voluntary submission.
This is easier said than done. I can almost feel the hair rising when people say, not me. Nobody will tell me what to do; I am doing just fine by myself thank you very much.
However, we all struggle from time to time with certain things. Sometimes it is an ethical issue at work; other times it is to do with my relationships within my family; or it could have something to do with my relationship with God; or maybe I am simply struggling with an issue and do not know how to deal with it. The biblical concept of submission is more akin to “support”, much in the sense of the legs of a table supporting the table top: can you see that one cannot exist without the other? In the same way we need each other. Make yourself accountable to someone or a group that you trust. Ask these people to keep you accountable, and have the guts to speak up when needed. Love your friends enough to keep them accountable, but also be vulnerable enough to be accountable to them in return – brothers and sisters: submit to one another!
The Unashamedly Ethical movement is a campaign promoting ethics, values and clean living.
Linked to this is another movement which hits a little closer to home, The Network of Christian Forums. A Forum is a group of 6 to 10 Christian peers who meet every 4 to 6 weeks to openly and honestly share their business, family, personal and spiritual lives with one another. The objectives of NCF are to
◦Be a safe haven for marketplace leaders where they experience comfort, guidance and wisdom for their spiritual, personal and business lives,
◦Equip Christian leaders to live and work as ambassadors for Christ by applying Kingdom principles in the marketplace, and
◦Mobilize and encourage leaders to be the salt of the earth transforming our society wherever we go.
Go and visit these websites by following the links above and become accountable today!Tweet