Sunday, July 13, 2014

Give Up

So much of Christianity today boils down to exhortations about winning the fight and never giving up. Be strong and you too can overcome and have victory in your life. While it all sounds good and it actually seems to be biblical, that line of thinking contradicts the Bible Story. We have only to look at the cross to be reminded that "winning the fight" meant surrendering. The "never giving up" actually looked like giving in to the end. The victory came only after a bloody and violent relinquishing of power. The cross changes everything. It's not a shiny, sharp, polished sword of domination. It's a dirty, blunt, bloody cross of humiliation. It's not a weapon. It's a white flag. The cross changes everything we think about "fighting the good fight of faith" and "working" in the midst of this life on earth.

We could sum it up in two words.

Give up.

Or, in Jesus' words...


Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 
John 6:25-29

Good news came at great cost. It came by surrender. It looked like losing. It came through hanging. It came by mocking. By whipping. By beating.

How have we come to believe that our job is to fight? That our way to victory is mounting an offense? That overcoming means winning?

If this hard heart of mine has learned anything it is this; I don't win, overcome, or have victory in my life by fighting. Any "success" comes by way of losing. Losing my life. Surrendering my will. Giving up the fight. Think about your relationships. Have you ever won anything by fighting, by an offense, by coming out the victor? I haven't. What really feels like winning are the times in my life when I have given up. When I have let loose and admitted I'm a mess and stopped fighting.

That's good news. I am free to lose. I am free to give up the fight and instead, believe in the One who sent us the Victor.

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 

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