Day 16, Give Up

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

                                       Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you know when to give up?

Do you know how to say “no” to things?

I have a tendency to over-commit. I take on too much and then halfway through, I can’t handle it. Instead of being blessed, I feel stressed. Instead of blessing others, I end up doing a haphazard job because I’ve got a million things on my mind.

It’s okay to say no to things.

It’s okay to give up sometimes.

I belong to several online “reading group” circles for writers. Recently, I had to cut back from 3 to 2, and even that is overwhelming sometimes.

When I switched churches back in 2013, I decided to leave behind women’s ministry at the one church so I could focus on my new church, even though my new church doesn’t have a strong women’s ministry or outreach.

I’ve walked away from a Bible study that wasn’t particularly edifying for me, and wasn’t helping my marriage since the group only seemed interested in gossip.

In October 2015, I walked away from a soul-deadening job and took a leap of faith because I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there anymore and I had stayed too long already. As beneficial as it was for the kids I was working with, my staying wasn’t worth my marriage, my health, my walk with God, my sanity, my sleep, and my life.

It’s okay to give up on the things that aren’t uplifting to your marriage. It’s okay to give up on groups that won’t have your full attention. It’s okay to give up on things that aren’t working for you anymore and are actually tearing you down.

Sometimes letting go and giving up might be more serious – a harmful relationship, hurt, fear, anger, regrets over mistakes, failures, etc. When you recognize God is in control, you understand that hanging onto these things can ultimately cause damage to yourself, your spiritual walk with God, and your marriage.

John 15:1-6 says,

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” 

If you are in a situation or you’re committed to an activity or you’re in a friendship/relationship with someone that is soul-deadening, that doesn’t have eternal value, that doesn’t fill you with joy, and that doesn’t draw you to God, you have permission to give up and walk away. You need to give up. This isn’t healthy.

Apart from God, as the verses say above, we can’t bear the fruit He has designed us to bear. You can’t serve God joyfully. You can’t be at your best and your healthiest. Sometimes you need to prune things out of your life and give up on them. When I was working at my last job, I wasn’t thriving. I was withering. I wasn’t using my God-given talents. I was throwing them away. I wasn’t living. I wasn’t uplifting my marriage. I barely had time for my marriage. I was slowly killing my spirit because I knew this wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6. In the times when I need to “let go” and “give up,” I find these Words from God particularly comforting.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways; acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

If you don’t know how to go from here, trust in God. Seek His wisdom in everything you do. Acknowledge His presence in every time and space. Trust He will make His way known to you and your paths straight.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

His hand gives things of eternal value. His presence is filled with joy. His way is life. All other things are not worth your time and effort if they draw you away from eternal life and joy. Cut it out. Prune it off. Give it up.

5th-annual-bhe-challenge

This is Day 16 of the 30 Dates in November Challenge 2016. Sign up here. Join us on the forums for the challenge of the day and participate in a supportive community. 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Karen

    Wow! Day 16 already! Years ago my husband was never home, he was at church every night of the week but Thursday. They even wanted him on Thursday on occasion. The church was wrecking our marriage and family. I told my husband that we needed to find an island that we can go to and concentrate on our marriage. It took about 3 years but we moved from a large California city to a small Washington town. That move saved our marriage, family and two small girls. Our girls are grown, Christians, married with children. My husband and I have the best marriage. We are loving each other more and more every day. Over the 40 years he was able to have his office in our home, have people meet here, we collaborated together on projects, we have been together 20 or more hours every day for 40 years. The decision was costly on my husbands career because he had to decide not climb the professional ladder. But it was worth it for both of us. – Karen

    • Wow, Karen, thank you so much for sharing your story. What a powerful testimony! I am glad you shared because this completely illustrates my point about how some things can be detrimental to your marriage. I commend your husband for his courage to turn away from work in order to save your marriage, and I admire you for your courage to speak out and ask for an “island.” I am excited that you have been apart of this challenge. What a blessing to have such an incredible marriage!

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