Absolute surrender


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

November 28, 2011, 8:32 AM

My friend Marjorie (I will call her that) has never been married but estimates she has had 800 children over the last 35 years. She told us through tears at a diner recently that school teaching is much harder now than when she started, and partly because children’s home lives are so broken. Did I mention that Marjorie teaches at a Christian school?

Christian books on marriage abound, but I’m afraid the books will not help much. When a marriage is full of strife, it is because someone needs to die and isn’t doing it. Nothing short of that will help. I know from personal experience that if you try to give God 95 percent of your life and to keep for yourself only 5 percent, the 5 will eat up the 95.

Why is the Church so spiritually poor today? Why are the parents of Marjorie’s students “yelling and slamming doors,” as one child told her? South African pastor Andrew Murray (1828-1917) offers an insight in Humility and Absolute Surrender:

“In Scotland once I was in a company where we were talking about the condition of Christ’s Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is; and there was in our company a godly worker who has much to do in training workers, and I asked him what he would say the great need of the Church, and the message that ought to be preached. He answered very quietly and simply and determinedly: ‘Absolute surrender is the one thing.’ The words struck me as never before. And that man began to tell how, in the workers with whom he had to deal, he finds that if they are sound on that point, even though they be backward, they are willing to be taught and helped, and they always improve. …”

In Corinth, Paul confronted the issue of a Christian going to court against a Christian (as we do in the case of divorce). Paul’s take on it was this:

“To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7).

So then, it is good and not foolish to suck up the wrong done to you. It is a legitimate choice to let yourself be defrauded rather than pressing for your rights. That would take dying, wouldn’t it? That would take absolute surrender of all earthly desires for the greater good of the glory of God. Are we prepared to do that?