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Never Give In-October 18, 2021

Never give in. Never give up. What's the difference?

Monday Morning Devotion-October 18, 2021

Never Give In

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.  But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.      Philippians 3:12

     "Never give in°never, never, never---in nothing great or small, large or petty---never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."  The words of Winston Churchill.

            Words to remember.  How often do we come across situations in our lives that are so frustrating, so difficult, seemingly impossible that we say "Hey, this ain't worth it! I give up.  I'm moving on."

            I write these words after I just spent two hours trying to figure out a technical problem, which if solved, would make editing my latest book easier for me and my publisher. Thankfully he felt my pain and suggested a couple of other ways to accomplish this.

            I wonder how many times in our lives we just get so frustrated with a problem we are dealing with that we just give up.  And frankly the solution might have been "right around the corner" so to speak.  But we became so frustrated and aggravated (to put it mildly) we gave in to the problem.  We were defeated by it.  However, as I hope is my case in this latest conundrum, a better way or at least a good way, emerges.

            The apostle Paul was another proponent of Churchill's "never-give-in" way of thinking.  And if anybody ever faced one "give-in" kind of a problem after another it was Paul. He was blinded (temporarily) by the Lord.  He was bitten by a serpent, thrown into prison, run out of town numerous times, beaten near to dying and many other trials and tribulations.   But here's what his answer to all that is:

            Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13-14

           The Quest Study Bible addresses that:

"Life in Christ involves a tension between two equal but contrastingruths by faith Believers have already attained God's full acceptance.  But in this life no one yet live out the full measure of Christ's goodness and love.  So, Paul urges us to live up to what we have already attained.

            In other words, don't give in.  Hang in there.  You already have the battle won because you are a Believer.  Just keep believing and trusting the Lord and the solution will come in due time.  You are a winner.  Don't forget it.

            Just before he tells us not to let past troubles defeat us Paul gives this honest appraisal.  Reading from The Message:

            I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made.  But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.  Friends don't get me wrong.  By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward---to Jesus.  I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.

            Of course, there are all kinds of things lurking out there to throw us off track.  Paul addresses things to beware of:

            Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark, and no bite°The very credentials these people are waving around as something special.  I'm tearing up and throwing out with the trash---along with everything else I used to take credit for.

            You tell 'em Paul---and furthermore:

            I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ---God's righteousness°I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally.

(all of these verses come from Philippians Chapter 3, but it is hard to pinpoint the specific verse(s) for each one in the Message, yet it's well-worth it to read the whole chapter)

            What is the difference between giving in and giving up?   They are close but basically to give up means to quit or withdraw from something whereas to give in means to let something happen or to give way to it.

            In dealing with my technical problem this morning I finally just gave in°I let it defeat me, but there was another way to approach it.  I didn't give up to this program, basically I just let it win with the idea it was not worth all the wasted time.  Maybe there was an even better way. It was not a case of giving up because, one way or another it had to be resolved.

             I hope Paul and Winston would not be disappointed in me on this one!

            Think about it the next time you are wrestling with a problem and the frustration is mounting up.  Can you give in without giving up on a solution?

            Before giving in think about it.  Would your giving-in be a "conviction of honor and good sense."   Is it the right thing to do?

Prayer:  Lord we pray for Your gift of good sense and right choices in the problems we face.   Amen!

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