Written by Diane Estrella

Giving-Up vs. Surrender

by Diane Estrella

Recently, I found these words defeatedly coming out of my mouth, along with tears from my eyes…..

“I give up…..”

The situation was hard.  My options were, none.  Downcast was my heart.  No choice, but to give in and give up.  Then a thought came to my head.  Do you surrender or do you give up?  They sound similar.  Looking up their definitions brought some interesting comparisons though.

To surrender:
to give up possession of or power over; yield to another on demand or compulsion
to give up claim to; give over or yield, esp. voluntarily, as in favor of another
to give up or abandon
to yield or resign oneself

To give-up:
give oneself up to another’s power or control, esp. as a prisoner
the act of surrendering, yielding, or giving up, over, or in
to lose hope for
to cease doing or attempting something especially as an admission of defeat

The difference is slight, but the end result is completely different.  In giving up, you have resigned yourself that there is no other choice, no options, absolutely hopeless.  The power and situation are entirely out of your control, you are through. Finished…… you’re done.

Surrender, however, gives you another chance. You have “resigned yourself” but that does not mean there are no other options.  It is in your control to regroup, rethink, another day will come to pass.  There is still hope.

Anything in your life you need to surrender to but not give up in?

Tabitha Bird, an Aussie lass, did a great post on “Let it go” linked here.  Check her out!

Also, Shannon O’Donnell did a great post on “Defying  the Obstacles”.  Look here for more encouragement.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Hooper May 7, 2010 at 2:55 am

I haven't give up. I'm not sure if I ever will. But I'm sure one day there will be some things I need to surrender to.


Jessica May 7, 2010 at 3:42 am

Very interesting difference!

Guess I need to send you some chocolate now?? *grin*


Diane Estrella May 7, 2010 at 5:13 am

Thankfully, once I had the "big cry" and did surrender some things…. much better!


Linda Kage May 7, 2010 at 4:08 am

Ooo, I like how you detailed the differences. It makes surrender sound much more cowardly. Thank you for giving me something to think about.


jean wise May 7, 2010 at 4:16 am

Very insightful post and one I never considered before. Hope in surrender – excellent point. thanks


Alicia May 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Great post! To surrender to has hope, to give up offers means all hope is lost. I believe there is always hope, so I surrender!


Laura May 7, 2010 at 4:36 am

What a great word study, and I agree! Surrender implies HOPE, so I'm all for surrender. I've had to look at surrendering and giving up in the context of a few work-related things, so this was really helpful — gave me a hopeful perspective! Thanks.


Keli Gwyn May 7, 2010 at 5:18 am

I appreciate the subtle but important distinction between surrender and giving up. To me, giving up means I've quit trying. Surrender, on the other hand, means "giving over." I continually surrender my writing to God, asking Him to guide my path and knowing I'm in good hands.


Diane Estrella May 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Worded perfectly Keli. :O)


Heather May 7, 2010 at 5:39 am

Thought full comparison Diane…sounds the same but in one small detail completely different!!! Giving up is not an option for me as it is negative, negativity begets negativity…to surrender is hopeful and positive! Good things come from being positive!!!

Enjoy your weekend Diane…



Karen G May 7, 2010 at 5:56 am

Diane –

I've recently been very downcast about situations that are playing out in my life right now. I had hoped I would be in a different place that I'm in currently and that is not how things have played out. I fully believe that God is in control but I needed to surrender to his will and his plans even though I couldn't see why. This morning I surrendered and then I read your post. I'm crying as I type this. Thanks for your post and a confirmation of what I knew to be true. God is in control.


Diane Estrella May 7, 2010 at 7:14 am

Love you Karen!


Jeanette Levellie May 7, 2010 at 7:06 am

Wow, I never realized they were that different.

I need to surrender my will to the Lord, and give up my poopy attitude when I'm hurt or angry.


sarah May 7, 2010 at 8:58 am

I fought so hard…I struggled to not give up. Surrendering didn't come easy. To surrender meant to trust everything would be ok….Thank God He made the difference…Stay strong.


Nancy May 7, 2010 at 9:14 am

What a slight but wonderful distinction. I don't want to give up, but often I need to surrender. I didn't know that. Thanks


L. E. Neighbour May 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

excellent post! Thanks for sharing :)


Shannon O'Donne May 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I LOVE this post, Diane – love it!! I never thought of it like that, but it's so true. Brilliant. And thanks for the shout-out. What a great surprise!

Have a great weekend! :-)


karenrevans May 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Yes, big difference at times. Good thoughtful post.


Jackie May 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Don't give up Diane!!! I love you!! and something I could surrender to would be just realizing that I can't change people and leaving it up to God no matter how bad I wish it was up to me! Giving up on a person is definately different than surrending, just in that giving up you totally lose all hope I suppose.


Diane Estrella May 8, 2010 at 3:33 am

Love you too! xoxoxo


CMOMProductions May 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

How'd you know? :) Thanks for the great post Diane! That flower is gorgeous btw!


Diane Estrella May 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

There seems to be a trend going around! :O)


Nancy May 9, 2010 at 11:38 am

Stopping by to wish you a Happy Mother's Day.


Diane Estrella May 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Thanks Nancy!!!


Mariel May 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Praise God for not giving up on me…even when I feel like giving up!! He is so good and so faithful! Loved the pictures, too…beautiful.


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