A selfish surrender

Published 8:31 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Last week, we ended “The Yield Series” with my admonition for all of us to say yes to surrender.

Surrender is a selfish thing. Selfishness has gotten a bad rap. It is considered to be wrong to think only of oneself. The negative label of selfishness is partly what makes it so difficult to surrender without hesitation. I submit for your consideration that when it comes to surrender we have been afforded the grace to think only of ourselves because Jesus was selfless. Yes, we can be selfish because Jesus was selfless.

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Someone recently made a statement to me that influenced my thoughts about the type of selfishness that eases that act of surrender. He said, “Now is not the time to think about yourself and what you want; you have to think about what Jesus wants.” How can I not think about what Jesus wants without being selfish? Part of being able to think of what Jesus wants is to consider what he has done for you. Humility, the ability to think of yourself soberly, is born out of personal experience of how God has shown Himself real in your life. Testimonies form out of those personal accounts. We realize that because God has shown mercy and compassion towards us, we are able to extend it beyond ourselves, but not to the extinction of losing what the surrender has won. Every born-again believer has experienced that feeling of wishing to hold close that distinct difference God made in your life when you were made new.

A selfish surrender consecrates you to the Lord’s ways and places you under His authority. It requires a separation. Holiness requires that you should take into consideration what will happen to you first in many and most situations. The word of God says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6 NIV). Spiritual surrender means that you have given yourself over to the Lord’s leading and covering. It also means that you guard yourself from the encroachment of other things that attempt to take the space that you have given to the Lord.

It is difficult to balance when to be selfish and when not to be. The world we live in pushes so much emphasis on personal development and self-promotion. I truly believe that there is a powerful means of personal development that is both selfish and sanctified. As we set our hearts on the desire to become all that the I Am has envisioned us to be, we will truly be as Jesus once said “about our Father’s business.” His work required it.

We each have an assignment on our lives. Do not take offense when someone calls you selfish when you know that you are honoring the assignment and God’s will for your life. For some people, that may look like leaving your childhood church family to explore another place where you can achieve your next level in spiritual authority. A mother may decide it is time that she leaves her work-from-home status and explore a business venture placed on her heart. The coach of an all-star team may decide he wants to travel overseas for missions and outreach. To some, these may seem like selfish moves. When you are surrendered to Jesus Christ, it only looks like selfishness to others who do not understand the call on your life.


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 iamquawanna@thebiggerme.net.