This morning I was reading Brennan Manning's "The Signature of Christ" Chapter Ten "The Courage to Risk". It ended with a quote of Winston Churchill, "Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.". It was Churchill telling us "Never, Never Give up!".
Are they contradictory? One says 'let go' and the other say 'don't give up'.
When statements are seemingly contradictory on the surface, then the answer to break the contradiction lies a level below. Dig one layer deeper. Break it up. We have to find out what is it that we are to let go and what is it that we are not go give up.
What to Let Go? The Uncontrollable Bad/Pains that we Felt
Jakes tell us to let go the past hurts, anger, wrong relationship, addiction, bad attitude, judging others, depression, stresses ... i.e. all things that are bad. In Manning's book, one key thing that we need to let go is our pride or ego or for the Chinese, our face. Our fear of loosing face, stops us from trying new things. Fear of failure prevent us from fully trusting Jesus Christ and venture out with Him.
A way to help us change our feeling and making the letting go easier is to change our thinking. The lost of our job could open up a better opportunity for us and so we don't have to hate the boss or the company that terminated our employment. We can let hatred go. We can be reminded by Churchill's "Failure is never fatal". We can be reminded by Paul exhortation in Rom 8:28 'all things work for good to those that love God" or in 1Thes 5:16-18 16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. This leads us naturally to the love of Jesus.
What Not to Give up? The Good & Significances.
Hence, Manning encouraged us to take courage and risks to live life fully trusting in the sufficiency of the love of God. It is better to try and fail than not to try at all. The detours, the hurts, the betrayals, are but the paths where we can experience and taste the love of God for us.
Loose our Pride and On with the Love of Jesus
Forget about loosing face and jump in into the love of God and come out with experiential knowledge of His love. We can love more and do more because we have tasted His love and know that He is fully trustworthy. We can learn by experience and agree with Paul, 2 Tim 1:12, I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day, and in Eph 3: 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Always have a balanced view of things. Don't just go off in a tangent.
For a related post on Let Go and Let God ... see Let Go & Let God - Spiritual or Just Plain Lazy?
After posting note: A friend added "Cherish what you have" besides the pursuing. So we may want to summarize as
- Letting the beyond our control bad feelings go.
- Cherish the good that you have.
- Never give up on the significant better that you are building.
It is a counselor's job to help us see the good in the bad so that we may be comforted and the 'danger' in the good that we may not go overboard.
For Believers, we will follow the morale standards of the Bible to define right and wrong. We have to be careful that the Bible places a high standard on us - the journey and the objectives are to be righteous all the way. The ends cannot be used to justify the use of unrighteousness means.