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There is an old saying that goes, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” What rubbish.  Now, of course, if you have goals or dreams that you wish to accomplish, you shouldn’t stop pursuing them just because you hit bumps in the road.  Obstacles are a natural part of the journey when trying to do something great.

But we do need to quit some things. In fact, my biggest regrets in life are having not quit certain things sooner.  For instance, my first marriage lasted for 12 years, when it should have been over in half that amount of time.  By the end, my husband and I couldn’t even stand to be in the same room together.  Unfortunately, we both had been trained to believe that “quit” is a four-letter word (obviously, it is literally, just not figuratively).

Our society has a neurotic attachment to the notion of “sticking with it.” For instance, people like to refer to Bill Gates as a “college dropout.”  It is a ridiculous way to look at his academic career.  The more accurate way to look at it is that Bill Gates went to Harvard for two years, after which he and his friend came up with a great idea for a company (Microsoft).  So, he decided to stop wasting his money on tuition because he’d figured out his career (which is the entire reason one goes to college).  Bill Gates didn’t “dropout.”  He stopped giving Harvard money (tuition) since he didn’t need Harvard anymore.

Quitting is only bad when it hurts you. But very often, it helps you.  My biggest professional regrets are having stayed with certain jobs longer than I should have.  I always have been very loyal to my employers.  However, in in this day and age, employers are not loyal to their employees.  Employee loyalty typically is not reciprocated.

The stumbling block for many of us is our egos. For example, no one likes to admit that they have made a mistake in picking their spouse, their career or a place to live.  But remember that none of us is perfect.  There is no shame in making mistakes.  However, we don’t want to compound those mistakes by continuing them indefinitely.

It is important to bear in mind that life is short. We do not know how many days we will have on this earth.  All we know is that the number of those days is finite.  And the days that have been given to us are blessings from God.  We, therefore, have an obligation to spend those precious days wisely.  Languishing in a bad marriage or a dead-end job is not a good use of the time that God has given you.

It takes courage to quit in a society which worships the qualities of loyalty and sticktoitiveness. I believe in those qualities too – within reason.  So, if you are going to quit, you are going to have to be prepared to endure the judgement of others.

The concept of quitting reminds me of the Gospel of John 15: 1-2:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”

In the same way, we too have to trim the branches of our own lives that bear no fruit.

Do you have situations in your life that you need to quit? Ask God to give you the courage to do so.  You don’t do yourself (or anyone else) any favors by staying in situations that aren’t working.  Be courageous and do what is necessary to live your best life possible.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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