We’re called to fight with an unwavering determination for all that is true, good, and beautiful. And this is generally easier to do when we can clearly see the fruit of our efforts. But sometimes we’re confronted with unfavorable outcomes despite our best efforts. While we don’t want to give up in resignation just because things are hard, there’s wisdom in accepting reality on its own terms.
To be sure, all too often we’re tempted to give up when things don’t immediately go our way. Perhaps because we’re fighting for something good we assume our path would be smoother – forgetting that the call to subdue takes much blood, sweat, and tears. And so we simply quit – retreating to lick our wounds when faced with the challenges and setbacks of life. This often reveals our lack of courage and deep faith.
But there’s no wisdom in kicking a dead horse. And accepting reality is not the same as giving up.
For instance, sometimes a relationship ends, the body has reached its limit of what it can endure, or our opponent simply wins this round of a fight – getting the promotion, securing the contract, winning the election, or the like. While the warrior in us wants to keep fighting, acceptance might be the wiser course. And this is where it differs from mere resignation.
Resignation is giving up prematurely in the face of mounting pressure when the final outcome is still uncertain. On the other hand, acceptance doesn’t diminish our will to fight; it’s simply a decision to live with the grain of reality. And, with the eyes of faith, we live in the reality of God’s larger story – knowing the good fight is not over until the restoration of all good things, despite the seeming setbacks of this life.
In the end, resist the temptation to give up just because things are hard. And learn also the wisdom of accepting reality on its own terms.