Being my own boss has its merits: I obey myself—even when I’m not looking! As an employee of my own operation, I am wholly compliant. If I ever do disobey myself, I’m always the first to forgive. Yeah, it’s hard to mess up, since I’m such a lenient chief: no commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions.
Submitting to others isn’t as automatic. And right now, in the flow chart of life, I’m swimming with the guppies. I have no subordinates. You may cite my mother-in-law or my daughter, but, No—I’m back at the bottom of the food chain.
Indeed, according to God’s Word, I am subject to God, the government, my husband, and my elders. Frankly, I like it that way; they’re God-given umbrellas of protection. If their instructions prove inadequate, the good part is, the buck doesn’t stop here; it’s no skin off my nose. (That’s mostly because if I were instructed to slam into a wall, I would play the You’re Stupid card.)
On the other hand, there are many I consider peers; even playing field; equal plane. But yeah, there are subtle nuances: even my square dance caller tells me where to go. [ba dum bum ching!] I comply, because the alternative can be disastrous—for more than just me! There’s a lesson in there somewhere: whenever people are gathered to meet a common goal, it’s good to have a Person in Charge. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians, and everything crashes. Too many cooks spoil the broth. And we all know that, in the workplace, it’s a nice perk that only one poor sap has the dubious honor of ladling off the dross.
But if there’s no established pecking order, we take turns. Many people have strong preferences—where to eat, what movie to see. I’m just happy to tag along, so I’ll often defer to another. Rank matters little to me in comparison to an opportunity to lift somebody else up. Eph. 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. It’s not an unhealthy lack of leadership; it’s …love.
Now: if I could just do all this wonderful subordinating simultaneously with keeping my trap shut…