By PAT HUTCHENS, A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Thomas A. Kempis—
Learning to obey and be under the authority of others rather than always living to please self and get your own way – that is true greatness. It is far safer to live honorably as a follower rather than always striving to be in charge.
Many often grudgingly obey others only because they have to, complaining and murmuring over every little thing. They make mountains out of molehills, all the time screaming about “equality.” No one learns what it means to be free until he has learned to willingly submit to the leadership of others out of love for God. This is true in the home, in a marriage, at work, at the place of worship. The rebel will forever run around in circles looking for peace, but will never find it. That’s because peace comes when a person learns to humbly submit, first to God, and then to others in leadership. Fantasizing about other places, situations and people won’t help either, because lessons have to be learned in your present circumstances before you can successfully move on. In fact, some quickly leave one hard situation only to find the same in another place, only worse.
2. It is true that everyone has opinions and usually likes to be with those who agree. But when Messiah Jesus is among us, sometimes we must yield to others for the sake of peace. Besides, who among us is so wise that he is always right? Therefore, don’t be so sure that you are right about everything. Learn to actually listen to what other people have to say. Though your own opinion may be good in a given situation, perhaps even better sometimes, yet for the love of God you may choose to yield to what someone else thinks is best.
3. “It is safer to listen to advice than to give it,” someone has said. Even though many opinions are good, to refuse to listen to others when common sense demands it is a mark of stubborn pride. Consider the example of Messiah Yeshua when he said, “The Son can do nothing by himself, but what he sees the Father do. For what the Father does, also the Son does….because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me” (John 5:19,30).
A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Brother Thomas A. Kempis