This is not what most people consider themselves to be - submissive. Most are proud enough to say, “No one is telling me what to do.”

Consider this. During a talk show interview, a celebrity confessed she spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours each year on hair styling. She recognized it had become an addiction and admitted her problem was “submission to her hair.” Can we truly say, “No one or no thing is telling me what to do?”

Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Everyone has and will serve someone or something. We are submissive to a value. We are submissive to an influence whether it is a person or thing. Even the phrase, “No one tells me what to do” shows we are submissive to our own selfishness.

Submission means “an act of yielding to the authority or control of another.” Because of her desire to look and feel beautiful, the celebrity above was allowing her hair to be in control of her life. Control is what most people fear. People do not want anyone “controlling” them. That is why some will say, “No one is telling me what to do.” Yet the term “self-control” is a matter of putting your mind and body under subjection. The hope in self-control is protection from those things which destroy our minds and bodies. Self-control is what stops us from eating too much, cursing, having outbursts of anger, engaging in sexual immorality, etc.

The story above should lead us to wonder about our own hearts’ desires and to what we are submitting. Do we want something so bad we submit to doing anything to get it? Are we submitting to admiration? Possessions? Self? Food? Money? Pleasure? 

When our lusts “war” within us (James 4:1), submit instead to God as “servants of God” (Romans 6:22). Humbling ourselves before the Lord (James 4:10) and asking Him to show us our hearts will help us recognize our own submission problems. One man said, “True freedom is not choosing our own way, but in submitting to God’s way.”