I was in a conversation recently where we were discussing the difference between surrender and submission. The essence of what we came up with was this:
When one surrenders, it is not because they see the wisdom in doing so outside of trying to ensure their own survival. The person who surrenders does so because they do not have any more fight left in them—for now. They still want their way, they just can’t see how to get it under the circumstances so they adapt.
On the contrary, when one submits, they do so because they see the wisdom in doing so. They have come to see that what they were fighting for was not worth it and they willingly choose to stop fighting—even when there might be a lot of fight left in them.
We surrender grudgingly, but we submit graciously. When we surrender we decide to live so that we can fight another day. When we submit we make the conscious choice to stop fighting so that we can truly live.
A good example of this premise is the Confederate Army verses the Union Forces in the United States. Given the definition that I am offering, what would you say the Confederate side did at the end of our Civil War? Submit or Surrender?
I think recent events in our country will reveal this.
Another way of knowing whether surrender or submission has occurred is whether someone has repented or simply retreated. On the surface they look the same.
At its root the word repent literally means to turn around and go in the other direction. And what is the image that comes to mind when you hear that an army retreated. You see them turning around and going in the other direction. But as well know, they are not the same.
People retreat because they are being chased in the other direction. But if it were up to them they would be doing the chasing. Whereas, when we repent, it is because we have had an internal transformation, a shift in conscious that empowers us to see that the direction we were previously going was not the way of our highest good and the highest good for our world.
In the sermon below, I go deeper into how I relate to the comments above. I don’t if all of the listeners will agree with my outlook, but it is one that is out there. I draw inspiration from Jonah and the story in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus cried over Jerusalem. I hope this adds something to your experience.