The upside of giving up

Jesus posed an interesting scenario to those who opposed Him. He told the story of two sons who each were asked by their father to work in the family vineyard. The first son initially refused to stop what he was doing to obey his father’s wishes. The second agreed to the task and then fails to show up. Jesus asked, “Which of the two was obeying the father?” (Matthew 21:28-32)

The first son gave up … gave up his own path, his own desires … so he could find a better path, more satisfying desires. Discovering what you need to do and who you need to be is the upside of giving up.

Most of us understand this simply because we have been there. We have had to stop behaviors and attitudes for the sake of maturing, growing, and developing. Noah Berlatsky’s son had been deeply involved in martial arts training for several years. One day he told his father that he wanted to quit. As Berlatsky listened to his son’s reasoning, he concluded: “Quitting is one of the most important life skills that you can teach your child. If you’re going to change your life, if you’re going to try something else, you have to be ready to quit whatever you were doing before something else showed up.”

We have had to realize that Father does indeed know best. His work in our lives, in the vineyard where we have been placed calls us to give up selfish desires, goals, and preferences for a higher good. Sometimes we have to give up to grow up.

It happens in our personal lives. It occurs in business. It certainly takes place in church. Are there things we give up so we can gain? Are there things we stop doing, even good things, so we can experience the best things? The first son found the truth and found the way. I pray that we follow his lead.

This entry was posted in Newsletter Excerpts and tagged , on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s