Making a spiritual investment

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2019

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

We have come to the last installment of “The Yield Series.” I challenged myself to tackle this topic of three powerful means of personal investment that yield growth: educational, relational and spiritual.

In the past two columns, I provided different examples of the educational investments and the relational investments that yield growth. I will not follow that pattern in my discussion about spiritual investments. One example will suffice.


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You cannot discuss spiritual investment without talking about surrender. I believe true surrender is a universal human experience that everyone around the world can relate to. It is not exclusive to older people or Christian believers or poor populations or one race of people. Whether it is voluntary or involuntary surrender, none of us are exempt. Voluntary surrender yields the most growth.

What has to yield first in order for growth to happen? The invested seed. The protective outer coat of a seed seems pretty intact until it is placed in the soil. The seed surrenders to the soil in order to become the fruit that is inside of the seed. We are seeds.

Near the end of August, I wrote about how God gives us opportunities to yield ourselves so that we become fully developed citizens of His Kingdom. If we are honest, surrender does not always look good. Surrender does not feel good. I was listening to a song titled “Gracefully Broken” by gospel artist Tasha Cobbs Leonard with my daughter and she asked me what the title meant. She said, “I don’t recall seeing anything broken that shattered gracefully.” I explained that she is correct that breaking is often something sudden that destroys or weakens the item that broke. But rather than that kind of shattering, God breaks with grace. God does not take us to break us for destruction. God breaks us so that we can fulfill His purpose in us. We do have a choice in the matter. We can voluntarily present ourselves to God saying “Here I am, God,” or otherwise. It takes a surrender to come to Him and trust that what He will do in the breaking will end well and for our good.

Personally, I believe surrender looks different for every individual. Yet because it is a universal human experience, voluntary surrender involves some universal similarities. Notably, a surrendered life is one that demonstrates servant leadership and humility. A surrendered life has several milestones that are significant surrendered moments along our living timeline. One life equals several surrenders.

Surrender happens in an intimate place shielded from the observance of your peering audiences. Many of us have a Gethsemane that bears the sweat and blood stains where we were broken. The public may recognize the fruit in a person’s life as a result of their surrender, but we do not know their Gethsemane.

People are watching your life and trying to figure out why you? I will tell you the answer. Your surrender of the little I am for the bigger I AM version of you is worth the sacrifice and the brokenness.

You will make many educational, relational and spiritual investments in life. The greatest investment of all is to surrender to become all that the I Am says that you are. When He calls, every time He calls, may we answer “Here I am” with our arms wide open. Say yes to being gracefully broken.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via