Churchill was wrong – or was he?

Winston Churchill was known as a wise man. He was the Prime Minister in the UK. He was an Army Officer during several wars. He was an aristocrat with controversial ideas and a writer honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature.


He is known as saying

“Never, never, ever give up.” 

During the days when my well-meaning friends were picking verses of scripture and using them to encourage me that God wanted my marriage healed and whole, I loved that quote. I had a magnet on my refrigerator. I saw it daily.  I clung to those words with the same fervor that I did many of those oft-quoted Bible verses.

But, as my marriage unraveled and I had to re-evaluate every idea and thought that I had based my marriage-healing-hopes upon, I was forced to realize that my rose-colored-glasses were smudged and filthy, I had to find the strength to take them off so that I could see more clearly.


I came to the place that I realized that Winston Churchill was mistaken. There are times to give up. There are situations where you should walk away. There are events, relationships and circumstances that may be harmful and we should heed the nudging of our head when we feel that fight-or-flight rush …. whether our heart is in agreement or not.

For some of us, this is hard. I think, “But, what if I stick it out and I am able to show that person that there IS someone who cares? Or there IS someone who understands?”
What if  …..
my hanging on with perseverance could change the life of another?
What if …..
my holding tight when I find myself white-knuckled with rubbed-raw palms
could get the attention of another soul
and allow them to feel seen and understood?
It seems to me a little discomfort
and chafing of the skin
would be well worth that victory.

I am still wrestling with WHEN to remove those finger-print smudged glasses.
I continue to learn how to balance the noise between my analytical head
and my stubborn, hopeful heart.
I continue to work on honing the sharp skill
of sensing the boundary lines set by others
and figuring out where to establish my own .

I have certainly learned that there are exceptions to the “Never give up” rule. There are absolutely, positively times that we should throw in the towel. There are definitely situations where we should use the escape route provided … and create one if it isn’t obvious. There are simply times when all our energy has been poured into an empty vessel that can’t hold what we have offered because the vessel needs repair first. And nobody can make those repairs for another. We can OFFER what we have, but we can’t force the  mending of another soul.

So, give up! Quit! Walk away!
Be sensitive to emotional exhaustion and physical depletion.
There are times when we should ……
just        …           let it         ..       go.

Oh …. and speaking of taking things out of context, Churchill didn’t actually say “Never, never, ever give up.” THIS is what he actually said,

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” 

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