Sunday, February 19, 2012

Taking the Leap to Submit

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Submission is a natural facet of life.  Children submit to their parents, husbands and wives submit to each other, employees submit to the boss, and bosses must submit to the will of the customers.  There are times, however, when you must not submit. Do not submit when you are being asked to do something you know is morally wrong. 

My pastor has an expression to help young people understand this mystery of dealing with people who have authority over you:  “Obey when unreasonable, disobey if immoral.”  The idea is that ninety-nine times out of a hundred you will obey and do what you are told.  When a person is in charge they may not have time to explain something fully and need you to quickly follow directions. 

If I explained everything to my kids I’d go crazy.  I am a leader who has lead in many situations.  Explaining why is useless if the followers will not understand the reasoning behind the explanation.  They must just trust me and let it go.  Sometimes as a leader I am not allowed to share the reasoning behind a directive because my superior has asked me to not share that information. 

You need to know that too many questions are considered rude and disrespectful.  Sometimes the issue is timing, if I have time I will explain something later, sometimes I won’t.  So as a follower, you should follow the directive, then if it is really bugging you, talk with your supervisor afterwards when you are alone with them.  As a young adult, you need to know your place, and realize that you just need to follow directions and work hard (Romans 13:1-7).
When you are told to do something that seems illogical (not immoral but illogical), it can be very hard to follow directions.  Fight the urge to mumble and complain along with the other workers. This will be hard because most likely the others will.  If you feel you need to challenge the leader, you should be as tactful as possible.  Be aware that you are stepping into a minefield and proceed cautiously.  You need to state what you see as wrong without coming across as insulting (Daniel 3:13-18).  This takes great courage, but you need to follow God on this. 

If you follow blindly without running things through God’s truth, you can find yourself doing something that could do a lot of damage.  Remember: Obey if unreasonable, disobey if immoral.  If what you are asked to do is against the law, don’t do it.  If it will hurt someone else, don’t do it.  If it goes against your values, don’t do it.
You should not wait until a person is worthy of your respect before you extend them that respect.  Don’t be surprised when respect is not given to you, you haven’t earned it yet.  Your turn will come, and then you will need to use your authority and prestige to help others.