Can Quitting be a Good Thing?

Can Quitting be a Good Thing

For as long as I’ve been a mom, I wanted to be in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). I enjoy being a part of a community, and what better community to join than one that supports education. I have memories of my mom volunteering in my elementary school. She made copies for teachers and put bandages on boo-boos in the first aid room. I thought I could do some of the same for my girls’ school.

Last year, I attended my first PTA meeting at our new school. I listened as they reported on their activities and volunteer opportunities for the coming school year. I became very uncomfortable in the meeting when I realized I didn’t feel compelled to help with any of it. I could not get out of there fast enough. Free time is a commodity, and most of my time was already committed to things I was fiercely passionate about.  I knew I needed to quit the PTA as soon as possible.

We encourage our kids to try again, even when they are ready to give up. We attend motivational seminars meant to keep us working toward our goals. We write inspirational blog posts pep talking ourselves and our audience to stay in it. The message is clear: Never give up! Keep fighting! Just do it!

The truth is, sometimes quitting is a good thing.

I quit the PTA. It’s a good thing, a needed thing, but not my thing. I’ve been thinking about some things I need to quit in order to be more like Christ.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. (Phil. 3:7-9, NLT)

 

I Want to Quit!

I want to quit using small group leadership as my excuse for discipleship. Leading a small group is a form of discipleship, however, I use it as a checkmark on my imaginary “good things I do” list. Group leadership does not take the place of entering into intentional, individual discipleship relationships. (Visit If:Equip for a deeper look at discipleship.)

 

I want to quit trying to make everything work out. I say I believe God, but I try to take care of the details myself. Phone calls, emails, and strategic conversations are my way of pressing the panic button. I want to rest in the promises and provisions of God which means I need to stop meddling in His business.

 

I want to quit saying yes out of guilt. Be it a volunteer opportunity or my daughter’s request to help her bake a cake on a school night—I do things I don’t want to do to make others happy. The yeses I give out sometimes take away from things I should do. “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less” (Lysa TerKeurst, The Best Yes).

 

I want to quit depending on my goodness as my righteousness. As a rule-follower, I often end the day with a mental checklist of the good things I did. Because of this tendency towards pride, I often negate the importance of the gospel. Instead of feeling superior, I want to embrace humility as I preach the gospel to myself daily.

 

I want to quit ignoring my sin. A side-effect of depending on my own goodness is downplaying my sin. In his book, Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges points out, “the seemingly minor sins we tolerate in our lives do indeed deserve the curse of God.” He goes on to say, “for many morally upright believers, the awareness of personal sin has effectively disappeared from their consciences. But it has not disappeared from the sight of God.”

Sometimes quitting is a good thing. A #FridayFive #linkup.Click To Tweet

#FridayFive Link Up

Do you have some good things you need to quit? Or some words of encouragement for those who want to quit and shouldn’t? Share your thoughts in the comments, or link up using the button below.

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Next week’s #FridayFive is a fun look at favorite bookmarks or open tabs. Stop by and share your favorite resources, posts, or websites.

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Recommended Resources

If you are feeling the clouds of discouragement gather as you pursue your calling, click on a few of these posts for a boost.

When You Want to Quit

How to Write When Your Words are Broken

5 Questions to Ask When Stuck Between Rest and Perseverance

 

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13 Comments

  1. “Do you have some good things you need to quit?” What a great way to phrase this challenge. Good thoughts here. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Good post!
    I agree that it’s okay to quit if it’s something God has not called you to. Sometimes we have to do that if we’ve said yes when we should have said no, or when God is leading us in a different direction.
    Just so you’ll know, my post on not giving up is not talking about those things but rather about continuing on in what God HAS called us to do even when we get discouraged or mess up somehow. 🙂

    • I can often be hard to discern the difference–when to push through and when to rest. I love what you say in your post about the possibility that the answer is perhaps one prayer away.

  3. Kelly, I love this! I’m working through the Best Yes and am realizing that despite what society tries to convince us we don’t have to say yes to everything … Sometimes we just have to walk away.

  4. I really appreciate your honesty. Sometimes it’s so hard to quit because you wonder who will pick up where you left off. I often feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of need for volunteers in the community. So many needs and not enough hearts and hands to do the work. I have to constantly ask for spiritual guidance to know where to spend my time.

    • Stephanie, those thoughts constantly fight to pull me into things that aren’t my best yes. Fortunately, we have great involvement from parents here. I was very involved with the PTA at our last school which was the right thing for me at the time. I know your community appreciates everything you do!

  5. I linked a related blog post, but I wanted to share this: I once quit Bible Study Fellowship half-way through the year because, despite years of wanting to participate, I knew it wasn’t where I needed to spend my time in those days. So yeah, sometimes quitting is right.

    • I appreciate you saying that, Carole! I really want to do BSF, but I know it’s not the right time. I think a season will come, so I’m trying to wait patiently. I appreciate your thoughts so much!

  6. Obviously God is knocking at my heart. This is the theme of what Christie talked about at Bianca Olthoff’s launch party as well as 3 podcasts I listened to while cleaning and folding laundry yesterday. I hear You, Lord.

  7. Love this Kelly! As I look for margin in my life saying no or quitting things is something I’ve taken seriously and written about often (and will continue I’m sure!)
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. “I want to quit depending on my goodness as my righteousness.” Yes and Amen! He’s helping me to remember to keep my eyes on Him and not on myself!

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