Man and mountainI have a problem with a serious urge to quit when things are unraveling.  Or when the uphill trudge just goes on and on with no end in sight.  I assume that it’s tightly braided into my perfectionism and my need for relentless improvement.  One of my core values (my default personality) drives me to constantly try to improve myself and the things I’m involved with. That’s not a bad mindset until things don’t improve – or even worse, they fall apart.  #Reality.

My perfectionist tendencies drive me to abhor making mistakes (although that doesn’t seem to inoculate me from them), and to have other people notice how flawlessly I perform my tasks. GAH! That’s nuts. And not achievable.  Because it’s not an achievable goal to always succeed, always improve, always have people remarking about how impressive my achievements are, I tend to quit – at least I really, really want to quit!

I didn’t know I had a problem with this until recently.  But looking back over the history of my life I realize that I have been this way for-EVER!  My Mom can attest to the fact that I quit tennis when I was a kid because I wasn’t the best.  In later years, I tried golf and quit because I hacked the course to pieces the first two times I played,  Because I wasn’t an instant PGA golfer, I gave it up with the excuse that I don’t have time for golf (partially true).

I have quit ministry and volunteer commitments because life got too busy and I couldn’t handle the stretch of having to fit SO much into one life. I have quit friendships because it was too much work to maintain them. I didn’t mean to quit them. It just happened because I resigned my ownership in the relationship. #MissedOpportunities

  • Do you have missed opportunities because you quit before you could cross the finish line?
  • Do you struggle with quitting?
  • Do you have regrets about things or relationships that you have quit?

In all fairness to me, I have NOT quit on the most important things in my life – and I give God all of the credit for that.

I didn’t quit my marriage (17 years and holding!) or being a mom – although there were times that I really wanted to “quit” my kids and run away! I haven’t quit my habit of spending the first hour of my day with the Lord, reading, praying and journaling.  I can’t tell you how many mornings it’s hard to wake up at 4:30 AM in order to make that happen and still have time for exercise before work. I haven’t quit my healthy habits of nutritious eating and exercise, even though there are many mornings that I’m not motivated to go to the gym at 6:00AM.

So why do I say I have a problem with quitting when I haven’t quit the big things? Because as I said initially, quitting is part of my default personality and I didn’t realize how much it was causing me to battle against myself.  Here’s why I point this out.  Maybe you can relate.

I may not have quit some important things in my life…but that doesn’t mean that my endurance was born out of a great attitude of knowing that God was using my difficult situations to mature me and strengthen me.  Nope. Usually, my “stay in it even when it stinks” behavior was born more out of fear of what would happen if I just dropped my bat and ball and went home.

And God only rewards faith – not fear.  Even when fear causes us to behave appropriately, we can lose the greater reward of God’s presence and the deeper work that He wants to do in our hearts.  Not to mention the fact that we are robbing ourselves of so much peace and contentment when we strive and fight against ourselves.  If my default personality wants to cut and run when things are tough or when my flaws and failures are coming to the light, yet I force myself to stay the course, I am miserable and tormented inside.  You might as well tie me to a telephone pole and poke me with sticks!

But if I adjust my attitude to be in alignment with God’s Word while the season is barren, and things in my life seem to be devolving before my eyes, then I will have rest and peace in the process.  My inner self will not be fighting against my behavior but my behavior will be fueled by anointing. I will learn what I need to learn in that season and come out refined not just reformed.

Now you:

  • Do you struggle with the urge to cut and run when things are hard or you’re in a barren season?
  • Do you have a hard time seeing how God is using the challenges you are experiencing to make you stronger and increase your endurance?

When we’re in a long season of barrenness, it can be so easy to think that God isn’t aware, that He has forgotten us, or worse yet, that He doesn’t care about what we’re going through.  I’ve even given place to thoughts that God cares, but my mistakes and failures have somehow tied His hands in being able to help me. Argh! That’s a scary place to be – and it’s a total lie.  God’s grace is the most evident when our abilities are the least evident. His mercy and wisdom are the closest when our pride falls to the ground and we are crying out in humility.  Don’t let your pride, ego or fear rob you from letting God carry you through your dry season, or your uphill climb. Let’s pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, how much we need your grace and wisdom for our lives! We cry out for a fresh outpouring of Your goodness so that we have what we need to stay the course in every area of our lives.  Help us to be found faithfully pursuing Your plans for us. You created good works for us to do before the foundation of the world, so You have also given us all that we need for life and godliness.  Therefore, we cannot fail if we rely on Your strength and power.  What is impossible for man is possible for You and we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us – even endure hardship in faith.  Thank you for your mercy! In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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