More often than I care to admit, I have quit. I have walked off of jobs, terminated projects, and submitted to the realities of more than one broken business model.
No doubt there were times when I quit too soon; if I would have persevered another day or week or month, I may have achieved my goals.
And yes, I have read all the books and heard all the lectures about how I can have more confidence, conjure up more courage, and realize more success if I persevere. They tell me to wake up earlier, think clearer, toil harder, labor longer, and of course, work smarter.
Then, because of the lack of progress and the perceived likelihood of failure, I get weary, confused, and dejected – so I quit. Then what?
I feel terrible. I feel like a loser, a dumbbell, a weakling, a failure.
Do you want to know why I (and possibly you) feel this way when we fail? It is because we have placed all our faith in ourselves. Let me put it in the first person: When all my success is up to me and my ideas and my abilities and my strength and my talents and my gifts, then I alone am responsible for my performance and the outcome of my efforts, no matter what or why things happen, especially when I quit.
But that is totally unrealistic. As a Christian, I believe that ultimately my personal success is NOT up to me. This means that even in my failures I can find meaning and purpose, lessons and guidance for whatever is next. I believe God himself is personally concerned about who I am and why I am here.
I believe the same thing for you! You were created on purpose on schedule and in a particular place to contribute something only you can supply. Neither one of us are an accident of natural evolution as some would have us believe.
You and I were in the mind of God before we were in the womb of our mother. God himself is vitally interested in us fulfilling our mission.
This means that when we fail, when our projects fall apart, when calamity confuses our lives that our response should not be to complain to each other and curse God, but to surrender to His will. There is a time when surrender builds more character than perseverance because it leads us to our destiny.
Surrender, in its most negative application, means you admit defeat and lay down your arms never to rise again. Surrender, in its most positive application, means you yield your whole life, the good, the bad, and the ugly to the will and wisdom of God.
The act of persevering when our way grows weary will strengthen our character but surrendering to God’s will proves God’s character and his promise that He will go with us “through the valley of the shadow of death.”
Your ideas and abilities are not enough. Put your faith in God; He will not disappoint you. Let His Perseverance Power be demonstrated through you whether you succeed or fail.
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The greatness of the man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
Don’t quit – surrender.
©2015 Ronald D. Ross
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- 5.7: One Easy Thing You Can Do to Help You Persevere!