We live in a consumer-driven culture. No matter what it is, if you want it – and can afford it – you can have it. The famous Burger King slogan, “Have It Your Way” exemplifies the way we think about everything; we want it our way.
Unfortunately, many of us have started to apply this consumer mentality to spiritual things as well. In a local church body, people think of themselves as paying customers. “If this church won’t do things my way,” they seem to say, “I’ll find a church who will.”
This is so far from New Testament Christianity! Christians should be:
In order to be a disciple of Christ, we must die to self (Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:20). This is the example Jesus set for us (Philippians 2:1-8). You are never more unlike Jesus Christ than when you selfishly demand to “have it your way.”
2. Submissive to Christ
You may put money into a collection plate, but that doesn’t make you a paying customer; it makes you a contributing member. The church is not some business or organization you choose to support. If you are a Christian, then you are the church.
As the church, we belong to Christ; He purchased us (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Therefore, let us submit to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:24). Stop worrying about having it your way and start doing things His way!
3. Submissive to One Another
There will always be matters of opinion and preference in the church. You’ll always like something that other people dislike and there will always be people who dislike what you love. The biblical mandate in these situations is not to demand to “have it your way,” but to let them have it their way.
In fact, Paul says we show reverence for Christ by “submitting to one another” (Ephesians 5:21).
No More Demanding to Have it Your Way
So, when it is a matter of doctrine, do it Christ’s way. When it is a matter of opinion, do it your brethren’s way. That is the heart of selflessness. That is the heart of Christianity.
Read these words from Philippians 2:1-8 very carefully:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
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