Today I welcome my friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries author, Glynnis Whitwer, to share from her new book, Doing Busy Better. I pray this post encourages you to have the confidence you need if you find yourself in a commitment you might need to step away from. Or perhaps it will help you as you coach your daughters through similar situations.
Ever find yourself wanting to quit when things get hard?
Whether it’s learning something new, joining a group where we are the outsider, or being around people who don’t treat us like we deserve to be treated, most of us find ourselves in a difficult situation at some time or other, and getting out seems like the best avenue.
Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to press on, persevere, not give up hope, be brave, believe, and trust the Lord to strengthen us as we face our challenges.
Is there anywhere we are encouraged to stop?
The answer is yes, and we find a powerful reason to quit given by Jesus Himself in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.
When It Causes You to Sin.
Jesus taught that sin in our hearts is just as bad as the sin we commit with our words or actions.
I faced sin in my heart during a time as children’s ministry director at my small church. It was a great part-time job that seemed manageable. I had three small children at the time, so I was already involved in that ministry. And because I have the gift of teaching and administration, it seemed a perfect fit.
For a while everything went great. I loved helping pick out curriculum and organizing the teacher supply room. I liked working with the other leaders, who shared a similar passion for teaching. And I loved the children.
Where this job fell apart for me was with the volunteers. Every week it seemed somebody called to cancel, or worse yet, just didn’t show up. And most often I deemed their excuses flimsy at best. After all, I didn’t let a headache stop me from showing up. And I went to bed early on Saturday night so I wasn’t too tired to show up.
Week after week I grew more and more annoyed. Especially since I was often the one to fill in for that volunteer, meaning I missed the church service I desperately needed.
I grew prideful as I compared my commitment with others and found them lacking. I grew resentful at their lack of dedication, and my compassion meter ran on empty.
After a year of praying and asking for God’s strength and trying to resolve these issues through practical means, my heart was steadfastly in the wrong place. I didn’t like the person I was becoming, and I went to the pastor and gave notice (and stayed till we found a replacement).
There are a few reasons I couldn’t handle that job. First, my energy and compassion were pretty much consumed by raising three little boys. Second, pride had a firm hold of me back then, and I was starting to see that it would take much to root it out. And third, I just wasn’t spiritually mature enough to handle the job.
Being on staff at a church requires a depth of spiritual and emotional maturity I didn’t have. I didn’t have the undergirding of personal prayer nor did I know how to handle all the knowledge that came with that position. It was absolutely the right decision to quit; I’ve never second-guessed that one.
As you consider all your commitments and responsibilities, is there one where you know either your thoughts, words, or actions aren’t right? If so, it’s always best to seek God’s help before quitting.
God has used hard situations to convict and correct me of sin. There have been plenty of other times I wanted to quit a responsibility due to my own sin, but God kept me there and changed me.
But if you are in a situation where you are continually tempted to sin, or are already in sin, and you don’t feel equipped to handle it, you could be facing the go-ahead to quit.
I know the idea of quitting anything can feel wrong. But when we do it in the right way, for the right reasons, it can be one of the best ways to get ourselves on a healthy track of life.
Comment below and share a commitment that God is calling you to slow the pace in, or perhaps one He has called you to quit in the past. One random winner will be chosen to win a copy of Doing Busy Better and will notified by email on Friday, July 14. (U.S. addresses only please).
Glynnis has five mobile lockscreens you can download to be reminded of what God’s Word says about rest by subscribing here. You can also download a sample chapter of Doing Busy Better, and if you purchase a copy, be sure to redeem your receipt to receive a FREE companion Study Guide. Get the details here.
About Doing Busy Better
In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.
Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.