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Summary: The Discipline of Submission becomes the attitude that shapes our actions. Explore, When Submission isn’t an option, submit to God, submit to authority, submit to family, submit to spiritual leaders and submit to others.

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During the 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel conducted what became known as "the marshmallow test" with four-year-olds in the preschool at Stanford University. The object of the exercise was to assess each preschooler’s ability to delay gratification. Each child was given one marshmallow. They were told that they could eat it immediately or, if they waited until the researcher returned in 20 minutes, they could have two marshmallows.

Some kids in the group just couldn’t wait. They gobbled down the marshmallow immediately. The rest struggled hard to resist eating it. They covered their eyes, talked to themselves, sang, played games, even tried to go to sleep. The preschoolers who were able to wait were rewarded with two marshmallows when the researcher returned.

Twelve to fourteen years later the same kids were re-evaluated. The differences were astonishing. Those who had been able to control their impulses and delay gratification as four-year-olds were more effective socially and personally as teenagers. They had higher levels of assertiveness, self-confidence, trustworthiness, dependability, and a superior ability to control stress. Remarkably, their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores were also 210 points higher than the "instant gratification" group!

A key difference between successful people — leaders — and those who struggle to get by is self-discipline. As Confucius wrote, "The nature of people is always the same; it is their habits that separate them." Successful people have formed the habits of doing those things that most people don’t want to do.

Throughout the course of 2007 we are studying 12 different spiritual Disciplines that are highlighted in the book, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.

The challenge that we are faced with is what to do with the knowledge gained. Those who will benefit are the ones who will diligently apply these disciplines to their life.

Jesus lived a disciplined life, and he certainly excelled at a very difficult field, which is the area of submission.

Throughout time this discipline has been mishandled so much that we do not have an accurate understanding of the discipline today.

Jesus called all of his followers to follow his example by “Taking up the cross daily”. The cross is the ultimate example of submission. It represents Jesus’ willingness to submit to the point of death, his whole life was under the authority of God, and so he was the most influential person to ever walk the face of the earth.

To submit involves a large area of service in life. The disciples were having yet another discussion about who among them was the greatest, and Jesus taught them a lesson about submission that they would never forget.

It was important to the disciples to figure out who was the greatest because there was a certain task reserved for the one who was the least, and none of them wanted to do it. They did not yet understand Jesus teaching on submission, and so he demonstrated for them.

He took up the job that nobody wanted, he washed the filthy, stinky, dirt-caked-on feet of the disciples and ended the argument about being the greatest.

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