Giving up can sometimes be the easiest thing we could do and sometimes it’s the hardest. Depending on what it is we are considering giving up, and whether we even seem to have a choice or not, makes a big difference. Giving up smoking is a completely different matter than giving up a health and fitness program because it seems too hard at the time.
So, what is the right way to give up when giving up is either a very good thing or an extremely bad thing, depending on circumstance?
Perhaps we need to boil it down and reduce it to the only way we should give up: to give over our will to God. This is the only right way to give up: to give in to the Spirit of God as we discern it in truth.
When we have given up our will to God, ever prepared to implement what we discern, we have both the information and power to give up what is good to give up and to sustain what we shouldn’t give up.
This way of giving up—of giving our will to God, to be massaged, moulded and formed by his Spirit—is the only way we begin with a basis that honours the truth in wisdom. Such an honouring of truth will be blessed and not cursed, for we have entrusted ourselves to God who knows and provides every good way.
God alone holds our present and future in the palm of his hand, and by our decisions we are made.
Whenever we find ourselves surrendering to God, alone, we find ourselves at peace; we experience this serene sense for joy; our eyes are opened to love—to see what we should see; and we detect other Fruit of the Spirit permeating within and from without us.
This sort of giving up—of giving up our will to God, alone—is the only blessed sort of giving up there is. All other forms of giving up should commence from this one. And if one form of giving up doesn’t rest in the will of God, it isn’t for us to take any further; we should dismiss it.
We’re all tempted to give up and there are some things, no matter how hard we try, that we don’t seem to be able to give up. Giving up is not the point. The point is giving up our will to know and do the will of God. Giving up should have every basis (or it has no basis) from the datum mark of God. God gives us power to give up the bad and to sustain the good, but we must do his will.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.