Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Giving Up

Wait a minute.

When did anyone ever tell you to, "Give up, why don't you?" or, "Stop trying so hard, already!"

Possibly, never?

That advice contradicts most of the mentoring, parenting, or teaching we have experienced.  We have been told to: Get back on the horse. Try, try again. Never give up. Dust yourself off. Just keep swimming...

 But the Bible says something differently when it comes to doing some things on our own.

  • GIVE UP WORRYING.  We worry about our safety, about our future, about anything.  However, the Bible encourages us to give up trying to micro-manage every outcome and stressing over the things we cannot control.  Why?  Because God knows how it's going to work out and the best way to get you to your destination:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life...Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? -Matthew 6:25-34
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
  • GIVE UP CONTROL. Obviously, making plans is wise when we consider how God would like us to instruct our children, how we manage our finances, or how we can minister to a world in need.  But sometimes, plans change and we feel like we're spinning out of control.  God wants us to remember that He is God, He's in charge, and He's got your back:
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. -Proverbs 16:13
  • GIVE UP TRYING SO HARD.  Trying to be better on our own, apart from God, is futile.  We just don't have the capacity to be patient enough or loving enough by ourselves.  If they sold vitamins for joy, peace, kindness, self-control, I'd be all over it.  But Jesus didn't ask for our money- just our time and our trust.  His help and his grace is FREE, but trying is tiring.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:30-31
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them —yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. -1 Corinthians 15:10

So, give yourself permission to quit!  Give up trying to be strong and wise enough on your own.  Surrender.  "Throw in the towel!"  Let your shoulders relax and loosen up your white-knuckled grip on life and let go, so that you can open up those hands and catch the freedom, peace, and grace that Heaven showers down in abundant quantities.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. -Matthew 11;28-30 (The Message)

I don't know about you, but I miss being carefree.  I give up, so I can be less uptight and more lighthearted; less stressed and more excited; less me and more Jesus.


Rena Mitchell said...

I love this! I have felt this way for so long. I now make a conscious effort everyday to give up some worry or some control. It is so hard to hear GOD speaking when we are consumed with what Christianity as a religion tells us to do. But it's not about the religion, it is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Why is it so easy for us to do what others say is right and so hard to do what GOD says is right?
Dani, i love you. I am praying for you. Keep up the blog. It's great!!


Dani Byham said...

Hey, Rena! It isn't about us but Jesus' life in us. Not about what we think, feel, or do but about who He is and whether or not we trust Him to do what He's promised.
It's hard to let go though, but it's the leap of faith that freedom requires!
Love you too :-)