If you were to walk up to either of my 2 oldest daughters and simply prompt them with “The May’s never….” they would quickly finish the sentence with “QUIT!”. Since they could talk I have repeated that mantra to them! “The May’s Never Quit”! If they are having a hard time with a school project, can’t figure out how to get the moves to a dance they are learning or playing a game on their tablet, when they show signs of frustration and are ready to give it up, I say “The May’s Never Quit”.
It was my intention (and still is) to instill in them a desire to push forward regardless of how difficult a task seems. It is in line with what psychologist call a GROWTH mindset vs. a FIXED mindset. Understanding those two mindsets could be a blog itself, but basically a growth mindset sees difficulty and wants to move towards it while a fixed mindset does the opposite.
So while I truly want all 3 of my daughters to grow up with a tenacity that doesn’t allow them to give up easily, there does come a time when you have to know when to quit. In the words of Kenny Rogers … “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run…”.
Not a Kenny Rogers fan? Well maybe you are a fan of King Solomon and he taught us that there is a time for EVERY activity under the sun. Look at this scripture in particular:
There is a time for every activity under the sun:
…A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
…A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
…A time to search and a time to quit searching.
…A time to keep and a time to throw away.
In other words, King Solomon agrees with Kenny Rogers.
Many of us, in an effort to not be a quitter are staying in situations longer than we should. But I believe there are three indicators that will tell you when it’s time for you to let go of that job, let go of that friendship, let go of that organization or even when to let go of the mindsets that are hindering you from being the person God created you to be!
Are you ready?
Indicator Number 1: Your core values are being comprised.
In the group I lead that is focused on empowering women (Friends with Vision), I periodically post what I hope are intriguing discussion questions. In the past I shared a list of over 100 values and encouraged the women to look through the list & identify ten values that truly resonated with them. I then encouraged them to narrow that list of 10 down to their top three. It is a challenging exercise but one that really helps you understand your core values. This is important because our core values should guide our decision-making. It should help us know what we can say yes to and more importantly what we should say no too. If you are in a relationship (be it personal, professional or romantic) and you find yourself consistently compromising your core values, it’s time for you to either make a drastic change or “quit” that situation.
Indicator Number 2: The investment you are making, far outweighs the reward
I think this may be my favorite indicator because I think many of us take this for granted, especially those of us who are Christian. I think we are under the false impression that if we love God we should do things “just because” it is a good thing to do. But remember, every good thing is not a GOD thing. I could give you scripture after scripture to support this but my favorite is in 1st Samuel. If you remember from your vacation Bible School days, David was just a scrawny kid who was bold enough to come against the Giant who’d been terrorizing his people. But before David decided to participate in this battle, he said ““What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel?”. In other words, David was saying “is this even worth my time?”
I had to ask myself that same question recently. I found myself really irritated by someone and I was ready to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with them, but I stopped and said to myself (well…actually to one of my best friends…) “is this really even worth my time”. I had to decide if the investment of my time and my emotional energy was worth whatever I was going to get from having an intense encounter with this person (Oh…in case you were wondering…it wasn’t so I let it go!).
God wants you to be a good steward of all the resources He has given you. That includes your money, time and even your emotional energy. If you are making a constant investment with no worthwhile reward, it is time to reassess whether or not it is fertile ground in the first place!
Indicator Number 3: God gives you new directions
This should be simple enough. In order to determine if you should move on from a situation, you must be in tune to God’s voice. It’s important to know how He speaks to you so that you won’t miss it when He does. Again, think back to your Sunday School days. Do you remember the story of Abraham and Isaac? You can read it in Genesis 22, but let me go ahead and spoil the ending for you. Abraham took his promise (his son Isaac), laid him on the altar to sacrifice him but because he was in tune to God’s voice, he stopped just in time! God gave him new direction! If Abraham had been too busy scrolling through Facebook, too busy monitoring his twitter feed or too busy watching Reality TV, he would have missed God’s new direction and would have killed his promise.
Many times God has already left a situation, but because we aren’t quiet enough to hear His voice, we are staying when it is time to walk away.
Remember the Bible says God orders our steps. The scriptures even teach us that God will tell us whether to go to the left or to the right (Isaiah 30:21). But you have to hear if He gives you new direction…remember if Abraham had not listened to God’s NEW direction he would have killed his promise.
If you are going to be a powerful and purposeful person, you must realize that it takes perseverance and commitment. You must develop the ability to stick and stay and have the fortitude that is required to keep pushing when everyone else has decided to give up. But at the same time, you must be wise enough to know when it is time to call it quits! Keep these 3 indicators in mind so that you can use them as a guide as you continue to live your life intentionally and fully engaged!