Why Are We Afraid To Quit? (Starting New Principle #2)
We don’t like to quit, but there are times to let go. How do we resolve the dilemma of staying or leaving?
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” ~ Senaca, Roman Philosopher
A couple months ago, after reading Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider, I got motivated to de-clutter my closets and get my house in order. Not to save the planet, but to save my sanity.
I grabbed some empty boxes and got ruthless. If I hadn’t used something in the past year or a toy didn’t yield 10 minutes of playtime for the kids, it was on its way out to a better place.
After a few days of manic collection activity, I surveyed the loot in the garage. I was going to sell the stuff on a parents’ Craiglist-type mailing list. Even if I sold them dirt cheap, I could score some coffee drinks and yummy pastries from it.
How naive. It took me forever to take pictures, upload the listing and ferret through the emails between the fakers and the serious buyers. All that time wading through questions like “Can I put it through the dishwasher?… Do you have cats or dogs in your home?” were using up my keystrokes. I wanted to be writing, not playing 20 questions. The last straw came when someone haggled me over a $5 new bed rail that was originally worth $39.99.
That was it. I made three runs to Goodwill and got rid of everything.
I started out wanting to sell everything. Instead, I let go, went to bed at peace and energized for the new day ahead.
Sometimes, when we start new, we experience the same dilemma.
Is It Okay To Quit?
We begin with excitement and fervor. We go to town on making new changes. As you get into the reality of those changes, it may seem overwhelmingly underwhelming. The experience doesn’t match the vision.
You find yourself with a new understanding — or the turn of events and circumstances — that lead you to consider ending, stopping or leaving.
You find out through persevering that God leads you to the point you need to let go. It is time to quit.
Maybe you’re undertaking some lifestyle changes, or considering a change in relationships, church or work. To develop some new habits, you may be needing to break old ones also like worry, depression or anger.
There isn’t one answer to all these scenarios, but I have found a spiritual principle that encourages me when it comes time to quit.
Many times what keeps me from letting go are:
1) I don’t want to let people down (I don’t want people to be disappointed in me).
2) I don’t want to let God down (I don’t want to fail Him).
3) I worry that I’ve wasted my time with my original plan (my effort is in vain).
When I’m going through a struggle in my heart — in many case, it’s a dilemma — over one choice or another, I realize my fears are about God’s pleasure, God’s presence and God’s reward.
My concerns are really about the rewards of faith.
I don’t want to end something unless I know God has something new for me — new and good.
I have to confess the “new” is never apparent in the moment of decision. It’s like a pair of scissors: it doesn’t cut until both blades are in action.
Sometimes, we don’t discover the new God is leading us to, until we are able to walk by faith and leave where we are. It takes a period of time to see the fruit of the decisions we make. In the case of Abraham, who left the familiarity of family, friends and lifestyle, he didn’t even see the fulfillment of God’s promise in his lifetime.
Like Abraham, we are also on a journey of leaving, to follow God where He leads us. We do this by keeping in mind the Reward of Faith .
Starting New Principle #2: The Reward of Faith
What is the reward of faith? Is it a “right” answer, a guarantee of successful outcome?
Without faith, it is impossible to please God,
because whoever comes to Him,
that He exists and
that He rewards those who seek Him.”
- Hebrews 11:6
The rewards of faith are:
1) God’s pleasure.
2) God’s presence. Confidence God is in it with us (He exists in our circumstance).
3) God’s reward. The reward of Jesus, God Himself (if we seek Him, we get Him).
This principle of faith’s reward has helped free me to decide if it’s time to quit — whether opportunities in work, ministry, a relationship, a pursuit or mindset.
I ask myself this question:
If I am confident I have God’s pleasure, presence, and reward (of getting Him) – regardless of my weaknesses and the result — what option am I free to choose? Do I stay or do I go?
I know I am free to make a decision when I am not longer afraid to quit.
Because if we have Jesus, then we have everything to get us through anything. From the old to the new.
There is an appointed time for everything…
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted…
A time to tear down and a time to build up…
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:17
How is God encouraging you to quit or stay the course?
How does the Principle of Faith’s Rewards inspire you in starting new?
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Today’s Topic 5/19:
To quit or not to quit. Share your thoughts or experience on quitting something or not quitting something.
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Next Thursday’s Topic 5/26:
Share your thoughts on perfectionism.
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