Give Up

There’s a boy who believed his purpose in life is to play a sport. That God has designed him to excel in this sport and to achieve success according to how many times he wins. He worked hard every day to keep himself in shape and battled to put those trophies on his shelf. He’s won many trophies over the years and received accolades from his coaches and peers.

Until one day, he lost what he considered an easy match up. Then he lost another one. And another. He stopped getting those trophies and started questioning his abilities. He became riddled with doubt until he became injured. Then the doubts really started pouring in. He wasn’t sure anymore what he was supposed to do. He fought to recover from the injury, believing that he was being tested to see if he would quit, so he didn’t. He recovered and kept playing. He enjoyed some easy successes again and focused his energies on becoming stronger and healthier to regain his former success rates.

He saw his potential when he played another player who was touted to be much better than him. He lost against that player, but only because he failed to prepare his body for the grueling match up. Even then, he made the opponent work hard to win, all the way to the very end. He wasn’t unhappy with how he played, he was unhappy with not winning but he was encouraged that he could pull it off. Then he played another opponent who wasn’t as talented.He was confident he would win, but when he didn’t, after another close match, he became so discouraged that he doubted everything, even the people who were trying to lift him up.

This boy’s situation isn’t unique, although he feels like it is. He believes he has been deceived and that everyone is laughing at him. He’s hit the bottom and doesn’t know what to do. He’s full of hate and regret and doesn’t trust anyone anymore.

What does he do? Well, if he continues to rely on his own strength, he will fail, because he is not strong enough to overcome the demons that are taking up residence in him. This is exactly where God wants him because that’s the only what He will be able to accomplish anything through this boy. How? Because the boy now is more inclined to finally give up the battle on his own and lay himself down in front of God and say, “Take me. I can’t do this by myself.” This is where the boy should realize that winning is the ultimate goal, not in God’s eyes.

The ultimate goal is to be the example of how Christ changes lives. How Christ is the only one who saves those who are destitute and brings peace. How Christ failed in the world’s eyes but achieved God’s highest goal. The world would say that while Christ influenced millions of people, he did not overcome the many forces against him when he was taken prisoner and murdered by his own people. That’s what the world would say. But we see it differently. We see how He allowed them to take His life so He could demonstrate the unmatched power of God Almighty. This power brought an innocent man back from the dead after three days, essentially conquering death and becoming the Ultimate Sacrifice for all of our sins against God, our Creator.

Every sin is against God and has a price to pay. Our responsibility is to see that for what it is, receive Jesus’ sacrifice as our payment, and rejoice in our salvation. When we believe this as truth, then we fall in love with the Savior, even to the point where our lives become a living sacrifice for Him so that everything we do, whether it’s work, play, friendships, partnerships, or just acquaintances, we show how Christ has changed our lives by obeying His commandment: John 13:34-34 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you,you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples- when they see the love you have for each other.”

How do we love one another? John 13:4-7 So he got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron. When He got to Simon Peter, Peter said,” Master, you wash my feet?” Jesus answered, ” You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”….vs13-17 “So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; and employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it- and live a blessed life.”

Essentially to succeed we must a) Give up our lives to God, b) serve one another because we love one another just as we love God, and c) give all the credit to God because He is our Savior and Provider.

Miracles can happen we we give up. Maybe if this boy will just give up focusing on himself and turn his complete focus to loving God, everything else will fall into place. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.”

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