CLERGY CORNER: Why ‘never quit’ may be the worst advice

Posted on 07 February 2018 by LeslieM

When I was a 20-something, I knew there were two things that must not be named: Voldemort and the phrase “I quit” — because conventional wisdom commanded we follow the perseverance of Navy SEALs, who during training never “ring the bell” — never quit — because in the words of one commencement speaker, if “you want to change the world, don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”

What if that’s the worst advice. What if the only way to live a life worthy of your God-given calling is to quit? If you’re experiencing frustration, burnout and hopelessness, may I suggest ringing the bell in these seven ways?

1. Quit worrying about what people think of you. Lecrae, a Christian rapper, recently tweeted, “If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.” You can’t make everyone happy, so quit trying to please everyone and live a life worthy of your calling.

2. Quit investing in bad habits. I hate jogging, but I do it regularly — mostly so I can continue to eat all the Chipotle I want. I know that if I come home after a busy day and hit the couch, the only marathon I’m participating in is binge-watching The Office on Netflix. However, the advice Rory Vaden, author of Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success, which is posted on my front door, reminds me daily that success requires doing the necessary things even if I don’t feel like doing them. It’s not a quick fix, but a lifestyle change.

3. Quit taking yourself so seriously. A general aviation magazine wisely noted that professionalism has less to do with a paycheck and more to do with your attitude. Flying passengers was definitely a serious job, but that didn’t stop me from having fun — I once threw a party for my passengers while sitting on a taxiway awaiting departure clearance to LaGuardia.

4. Quit asking the easy questions. Adam Grant, in his recently released book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, shares how corporate cultures that welcome individuals with dissenting opinions are more creative and make the greatest impact on society. Quit asking the easy questions like “What makes me happy?” and start asking “How do I quit being a comfortable consumer and become a risk-taking producer?”

5. Quit being so easily offended. David McCullough Jr., in his 2012 commencement speech to Wellesley High School, tells graduates that contrary to what little league trophies, exceptional middle school report cards, or even doting family members suggest, “You are not special … even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion, there are nearly 7000 people just like you.” Same is true for you and me: We aren’t any more special than the next, and that’s okay.

6. Quit taking pride in being busy. Senior pastor of Life.Church, Craig Groeschel, writes in his book Chazown: Discover and Pursue God’s Purpose for Your Life, “Everyone ends up somewhere, but few people end up somewhere on purpose.” Why? Because it’s easier to say, “I’m busy” — which sounds like we’re important, than it is to discipline yourself and live your values and priorities consistently. Schedule time this week to reflect on what matters most to you. Remember Andy Stanley’s advice that a “yes” is a “no” to something, which conversely is true.

7. Quit living your dream. Mark Batterson, author of Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It’s Too Small, talks about how our dreams are tied into the dreams of those before us, up-line, and the dreams of those that come after us, down-line. His point: to honor both those before and after us we must quit our wimpy personal dreams and act upon the desires God has placed deep within our hearts — dreams that require divine intervention to be accomplished.

From this day forward, quit the status quo — the safe and predictable life — while chasing the purpose God has for your life (which is anything but safe and predictable). Begin to pray and seek wise counsel so that you’ll be able to quit the “right” wrong pursuits and behaviors limiting your God-given capacity as a person and leader. Then ring the bell.

C.J. Wetzler is the NextGen pastor at The Church at Deerfield Beach. Before being able to accept his God-given calling, C.J. had to completely trust God and quit being a commercial airline pilot. He loves to mentor the next generation of leaders and considers himself a fast food connoisseur. For questions or comments he can be reached at cj@dfb.church.

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