6/20/2008

Faith and Surrender

I’m reading the best recovery / self-help book I’ve seen. The book, The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help Is Not Enough, is written by Sharon A. Hersh (WaterBrook Press: Colorado Springs, 2008). The book’s take on “surrender” is the most Biblical expression of the concept I have read. Here’s an excerpt:

When I surrender my wounds to [Christ’s] death on the cross for me, I am acknowledging that I can’t save myself. This concept of surrender is more foreign [than] we might think, especially if we are familiar with words of faith. We can believe that Jesus died, was buried, and arose again. We can say the words, “I know Jesus died for my sins. I want Him to come into my heart.” But surrender goes further. Surrender is joined to belief when I know that I am utterly helpless, and I exchange my ways of being good, of proving myself, of pulling myself up by my bootstraps, for The Way of needing [Jesus’] love, forgiveness, mercy, grace and holiness as much as I need oxygen. This desperation is only born out of dying to myself.

Whether it is addiction or another excruciating reality of life that strikes the final wound that leads to surrender, it becomes a gift when we invite the healing wounds of Jesus to minister to our wounds. (pp. 87-88)

This concept of surrender is really a form of trust. Trust in the life and death of Christ alone as payment for my sins, not in the abstract, but in a concrete and final way.

I had this type of trust when I invited Jesus into my heart when I was seven years old, but I have found that this trust has deepened over time. I have become more and more aware of my sins and the imperfection of even my best works. I have become more and more aware of the dark depths of my heart where my sin comes from.

This heightened awareness has caused me to cling to Christ more fully and more desperately than ever before. That humble trust is the true meaning of surrender.

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