Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 Ways to Know It's Time to Quit

This post appeared recently at Stirred Up Leadership and I thought I would share it here:

The journey into a profound spirituality for Geri Scazzero began when she said, “I quit.”

Refusing to continue pretending everything was “fine,” she told her husband she was quitting their church – and he was the pastor!

The powerful journey they took together – to “quit” the things that really don’t belong to God’s kingdom and embrace the things that do – changed their personal lives, their marriage and their church. Take the following assessment below and see if you need to quit:

1. You need the approval of others to feel good about yourself.

2. You are angry, sad, or disappointed and feel guilty about it.

3. You believe you don't have choices.

4. You do for others what they can and should do for themselves.

5. Your rarely consider your own hopes and dreams because of your focus on others.

6. You say “yes’ when you would rather say “no”.

7. You have difficulty speaking up when you disagree or prefer something different.

8. You’re becoming a less instead of a more loving person.

9. You are resentful and tired because you regularly “try to do it all.”

10. You are afraid to admit your weaknesses and flaws.

If two or three apply to you, you may need to start quitting. If four to six apply, you have a lot to quit; if you scored seven or above, your true self may be “buried alive.”

When we quit those things that are damaging to our souls, we are freed up to choose ways of being that are rooted in love and lead to life – both for us and others. Quitting goes hand in hand with choosing. Something breaks inside of us when we finally say, “No more!” The following are 8 "Quits" essential to all genuine spirituality.

Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think. (Choose Freedom)
I am willing to cut through the disapproval of others and do what is good, true and loving. I no longer ignore the values I hold dearly. Who I am “on stage” before others is the same person I am “off stage” when I am by myself.

Quit Lying. (Choose Truth)
The degree to which I live in the truth –with myself, God and others- is the degree to which I am free. Learning how to speak the truth respectfully, honestly and clearly is one of the most significant ways I can respect the image of God in myself and others.

Quit Dying to the Wrong Things. (Choose Delighting in God’s Gifts)
I will no longer set aside or devalue activities or relationships that cause my soul to feel fully alive (e.g. music, dance, art, the outdoors, travel). I will take the time to explore my internal world of thoughts, feelings, values, loves, beliefs and motivations.

Quit Denying Anger, Sadness, and Fear. (Choose Embracing Your Humanity)
When it comes to feeling, I will avoid extremes –neither neglecting my emotions nor allowing them to run my life. I will allow myself to experience them in the presence of God, calmly think them through, and then take appropriate action.

Quit Blaming. (Choose to Take Responsibility)
As a human being made in God’s image, I recognize that no one is responsible for my life but me. I reclaim my freedom to choose my own life and help others do the same. I can’t change others, but I can change myself – with God’s grace.

Quit Overfunctioning. (Choose Letting Go)
I will no longer do for others what they can and should do for themselves. I will push through my fears in the face of resistance, asking God for courage and wisdom.

Quit Faulty Thinking. (Choose to Live in Reality)
I will refuse to make things bigger than they are. I will not take offense or blame for something before having all the data. And I will not believe the falsehood that things will never change. I will position myself so that the Spirit can correct my wrong assumptions and align me with the truth.

Quit Living Someone Else’s Life. (Choose to be Yourself)
By God’s grace I will embrace the unique life He has given me. I will listen to my God-given rhythms, set appropriate boundaries with others, and let go of other people’s agenda for me. In this way I will enter into the joy of my own beautifully, God-given life and carry out His unique purposes for me.


Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Very thought-provoking. I wonder -- how does this reflect the Scriptural directive to count the cost and he who puts his hand to the plow doesn't turn back? I don't know at all... I resonate with this piece and wrestle with wondering if it ever okay to quit? Doesn't God's grace always sustain us? Oh, you make me think -- and pray -- and this is so good.

The High Calling Community deeply appreciates your thoughtful contributions.

All's grace,
Ann Voskamp

Interestingly -- the word verification for this for me? nosin -- no sin :)

Jim Lange said...

Ann, thank you so much for your comments and encouragement. A couple thoughts came to mind as I read what you had to say.

I don't believe this piece is really talking about quitting things in general, but rather quitting the things that are not of God. I, too, don't believe quitting something is of God. However, I also believe this is where grace comes into the equation. I make many mistakes in choosing what I do (I often say "yes" too often without asking for His guidance and I also sometimes choose to do things that don't honor God). When I come to a place of understanding that I made a mistake and can "quit" that, I want to do that. I can then ask for forgiveness and move on.

Now if I've made a commitment to someone else, I believe that is a different situation that will require me to fulfill that commitment.

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts as I wrestle through this also!

Blessings to you!



That's an interesting "quit" list.

Sadly, burnout does happens :-(


Jim Lange said...

You're right, burnout can happen! Hopefully this quit list can prevent burnout for some!

Blessings to you!

Sam Van Eman said...

Jim, I suppose I've experienced all of these at one point or another, but most often I liked my job enough (except for that tele-marketing year) that "quitting" simply meant changing the approach in troublesome areas.

Maybe that's what you were saying in response to Ann. I guess I always assumed that a few tweaks would make the work bearable and a few more tweaks would even bring some joy.

So far, so good.

Jim Lange said...

Sam, thanks for your comments. I agree with what you're saying. I believe any job can be made meaningful if we see the eternal purpose behind it. It is usually in those tough circumstances that our light (the light of Christ) shines brightest through us...if we let it!

I guess I looked at this post being more about quitting those things in our lives that hinder our leadership and are not of God.

Anyway, it's all good! Thanks for checking in!

Sam Van Eman said...

"I guess I looked at this post being more about quitting those things in our lives that hinder our leadership and are not of God."

Now you're talking about a task I have to do quite regularly! :)

Jim Lange said...

Unfortunately, I know the feeling!