Avoiding the Temptation to Give Up

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

In my last article, A Hope-Filled Lesson from Nicaragua, I shared how my recent trip to Nicaragua had reminded me that there is hope in the midst of challenges when we do not give up. I gave examples of how I have seen this truth in action in the lives of my friends in Nicaragua and the work in which NicaWorks! is engaged. It is a beautiful reality, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. How do you avoid the temptation to give up?

Watching or hearing stories about other people who have continued to push ahead when everything around them was screaming “you will fail” is inspiring. How many movies are framed around this concept? I would dare to say most in some way or another. Overcoming the odds speaks to our hearts and I believe this is no accident. There is something written deep inside our souls that resonates with redemption and restoration, but that is a topic for a different day. If this is true, why do we struggle with approaching our lives and the world with this perspective?

In my book, Hope Realized, as well as a free resource I created to help people live more impactful lives, 5 Foundational Steps to Make a True Difference in Someone’s Life, I discuss the importance of “being curious”. Curiosity is generally a good thing, but in the case of making a difference it is critical. It is in a willingness to be curious about our own story, our beliefs about others and the world around us, and the stories of people we tend to write off, that we position ourselves to make a positive difference in the lives of other people.

The reason for this is we are able to discover and challenge preconceived ideas and underlying beliefs that could prevent us seeing the God-given value and potential in others. The same could be said for how we see ourselves. There may be something deep in our heart that is telling us we are destined for failure, shaping the way we approach life. It can also play a role in our willingness to persist when giving up would be the path of least resistance.

What we believe about our own potential as well as the potential of others will greatly impact our ability to continue moving forward. When someone believes they are filled with God-given potential, setback are just that: a momentary detour on the journey toward an ultimate destination. When someone believes they are destined for a life of less than, just the opposite occurs: setbacks and challenges become confirmation of their belief that failure is inevitable.

This also extends to our belief about others as well as circumstances and charity projects. Our ability, or inability, to see the God-given potential in someone or something will guide the way we think about them and act toward them. What makes it even more difficult is we often don’t even realize it. This is why true self-reflection–a willingness to be curious– is so important. Once we are aware of the filter through which we see the world, we can keep what is helpful and take steps to take off what is not.

This has been my experience in life as well as what I have seen in many others who have remained resilient in the face of difficulty. They remain focused on their own God-given potential as well as the God-given potential of others. Does that mean there will never be a detour or a difficult patch in the road? Of course not! Sometimes where you are headed might even change, but you continue moving forward because you believe you were created on purpose for a purpose by a God who loves you.

Do you want to make a difference in the life of someone else, or maybe even your own life? Start by getting clear on what you really believe about the potential and value of yourself and others. This will allow you, like my friends in Nicaragua, to push forward and experience a new level of hope because you decided not to give up.

James Belt


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