My kids are now young adults; BUT, I remember as a Mom repeating myself endlessly with these words: “Stop it – really; stop it!”. Attempting to get them to quit doing what they had already begun was far more difficult than getting them to start doing something they had yet to begin. I think this is true for toddlers, teenagers and yours truly.
“Just do it!” “No pain, no gain.” “Quitters are losers.” “Second place is failure.” Can I tell you how much I hate these trite little phrases? I can think of thousands of situations in which quitting leads to advancement not defeat. I love embracing being able to quit. I have even chosen to forgive the esteemed Winston Churchill for we know he meant well when he said, “Never! Never! Never give up!”.
WAIT!, you scream; aren’t you espousing heresy here? Endurance is prized as a godly quality worth pursuing with all you have (Col. 1:11). Jesus endured the cross (Heb. 12:2); the apostles and early church endured fiery ordeals for the sake of their faith (1 Peter 4:12-19). So knowing this, how in the world could I suggest, “endurance is not always something to pursue”?
Easy – life is often a conundrum of seemly opposite truths which actually play quite nicely together. Endurance for the sake of our salvation, our witness and through persecution due to our faith are indeed all examples of excellent times to endure. But, there are other biblical passages that show quitting, or non-endurance, as the best and most godly choice.
Paul writes Timothy and instructs him to quit arguing over words – stop the endless quibbling over verbiage. Jesus instructs his followers to quit following the Pharisees who he refers to as blind guides. God instructed in the 10 commandments to quit working and take a day off to worship and regroup (my description of the Sabbath). And, last but not least, Proverbs is full of verses warning us to quit relationships that are harmful.
Teachable moments are not a “to do” list of what to add to my life. Some times my best teachable moments tell me to “stop it – really; just stop it!”. How can I encourage you to practice godly quitting?
- Let’s be aware of our thoughts and when a thought does not embrace truth, we’ll quit thinking it; this may seem simple, but it’s not. Quitting takes work (2 Cor. 10:5).
- Evaluate our relationships. Facebook is wrong; we really can’t have thousands of friends. Who will you and I quit (kindly, of course)? This takes much prayer and godly contemplation; but, not even Paul and Barnabas pursued their relationship in ministry (Acts 15:36-41). Some times we just need to say “good-bye”.
- How about we stop having our daily calendar dictate whether we have time to self-reflect? Let’s give ourselves time to contemplate our faith-fueled life by quitting unnecessary things, like worrying over….whatever we worry about (Phil. 4:6,7).
- And last, but it is my favorite “quit”: we shall quit false guilt about all that we are not yet and embrace Christ within us. God is at work in us as He walks through our lives with us. I will celebrate that truth by quitting a condemnation that is no longer mine to have (Romans 8:1)
One thing NOT to quit? Meeting me here for more Teachable Moments.
Until next time, Blessings Abundant to you, dear reader. Elizabeth 🙂