FIGHT IT or SURRENDER IT?

First, if you aren’t familiar with the concept of “surrender” as it is understood in the twelve step addiction recovery movement, parts of this article might not make much sense to you. Surrender is a difficult concept to get. It usually requires a lot of self-inflicted pain and hitting oneself repeatedly in the head with a 2” x “4” before any of us are in a state capable of grasping it.


Regardless, just keep reading. Surrender is one of my favorite concepts and it will be a recurring theme in this blog. So, you will start to understand it eventually. And, if my writing doesn’t help. Just find a 2” x 4.”

In one of the meetings I attended over Zoom today, a sister in the fellowship said something like, “Satan always tells us to fight it.” Bless that lady!!

That idea rang in my mind like a great bell. I had never heard it put that way. I had heard of the concept of surrender—that God wants us to surrender the things over which we are powerless to Him—but, I had never directly connected the opposite principle to Satan. This sister’s statement connected the dots for me.

I mulled it over a bit, and, ended up texting this message to some of my brothers in the fellowship:

“Lucifer says, ‘Fight it. You need to keep fighting it.’”

“Jesus says, ‘Surrender it. Just let me take it.’”

I’ve learned to surrender my primary addiction(s) pretty well. But, I'm not very good at surrendering other things. But there are other things I am powerless over—tons of them—that I need to learn to surrender. Because, if I don’t, they will continue to hound me and cause pain and suffering and harm to me, my wife and our children, and everyone else close to me.

Perhaps the most important character defect that I need and want to surrender to Christ so that He can bear it for me and free me from it, is my powerlessness over overreacting, getting angry, throwing “adult” tantrums, losing my cool, getting frustrated with my children, misjudging them and their intentions, and not being gentle, meek, patient, and loving.

The truth is that it is impossible for me to be a good dad if I am not spiritually healthy. I see others who seem to be able to still be good parents even when they are struggling with some frustration or other difficult emotion or circumstance. But, it seems to me that I have very little ability to be a good dad when I am struggling with anything difficult and especially when I am off-kilter spiritually.

In my experience, “fighting” this weakness is never going to work, no matter how hard I try to be a good dad, I cannot do it on my own power. I have zero power to be a good dad.

But, surrendering my powerlessness over my addictions is what enabled Christ to free me from them. So, my experience also tells me that surrender is my only hope for relief from my inability to be a good dad and husband.

If God could tell me how to surrender my addictions to Him, He can also tell me how I can surrender my character defects to Him. I don’t know how yet, but I will cry unto Him until He tells me. I want to be free of these defects. I need His help. I will never be free of them without His help.


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