How do you live a life that holds others up? What does it mean to submit to one another? Let’s start with a passage and then consider a real-life example that demonstrates how we are to place others above ourselves. Our passage is from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 5:21 NIV
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Allene Beck couldn’t swim. Dawson Trotman traded places with her on the boat so she would be in a safer seat. After two hours of waterskiing on New York’s Schroon Lake, Trotman, founder of an organization called, The Navigators, was dog-tired and ready to call it a day. But minutes later, the speeding boat hit a wave throwing Beck and Trotman overboard. He swam to her and held her head above the water until the boat could circle back around. She was hauled into the boat, but according to Time magazine’s July 2, 1956 account, “as hands reached down to seize Trotman’s hand, he sank out of sight.”
Billy Graham interrupted his Oklahoma City crusade to preach at Trotman’s funeral. Graham said Dawson “had personally touched more lives than anybody I have ever known. He lived to save others.” In Time’s obituary for Trotman were these words written under his picture: “Always holding someone up.”
It has been said that a person all wrapped up in themselves makes a small package. Believers must be bigger than that. Following the example of Jesus, we should “look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). We should submit to one another out of reverence for Jesus. We should always be holding others up!
Father, expose my me-first and me-only attitudes. Show me where self-ambition is pushing me away from you. Point out my desire to impress others instead of you. Give me the courage and strength to put my own wants and agenda down to hold others up. In Jesus’ name. Amen.