An Under-13 Rugby Union side was told by their manager to stop playing at half time. The side, Norwich, were being beaten by Shelford, 50-0. Nigel Francis said he’d told the boys to give up because they had played in a Sevens Tournament the previous day and were exhausted. It was not going to be good for them to continue. The opposing manager wasn’t happy. ‘It’s a poor example to set to children – to tell them it’s OK to give up if you’re losing.’
Sometimes, on the other hand, it takes courage to admit there’s no point in continuing. Indeed, there are times in life when giving in and accepting defeat is the gateway to a new, more positive way of moving forward. On one occasion, the disciples of Jesus had had to give up after a long night of unsuccessful fishing. Jesus however saw where a good haul of fish was to be had and following his instructions, their luck dramatically changed.
There may be aspects of our lives today where we are battling on because we are unwilling to admit failure. Sometimes such determination is appropriate and eventually productive. But just as often, the willingness to abandon the struggle somehow creates a new opening. It may be that by giving up we are enabled to see things differently or to become more willing to receive help and advice. God is often more able to help us when we stop struggling. To let go in a losing battle is not necessarily a poor example to set.
Read: There’s a time to search and a time to give up, (Ecclesiastes 3.6)
Rejoice: in moments when God has helped me see what I’m doing in a more sensible light.
Reflect: Am I struggling on in any situation where it would be better to give up?
Remember: God won’t give up on me.
Resolve: to be on the lookout for new opportunities God is creating for me.