If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll learn that our “yes” will be “yes” when our “no” becomes consistently and truly “no”.
So we have to lose our fear of “no”.
“Never Quit” What a spectacularly bad piece of advice. It ranks up there with “Oh, that’s a funny dirty joke, let’s tell the teacher!” Never quite? Never quit wetting your bed? Or that job you had at Burger King in high school? Never quit selling a product that is now obsolete?
Wait a minute. Didn’t that coach say quitting was a bad idea?
Actually, quitting as a short-term strategy is bad idea.
Quitting for the long term is an excellent idea.
I think the advice giver meant to say, “Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.” Now that’s good advice.
We’ve talked about quitting before (see the post here) and not just because we want to give you Seth’s book, although that’s true.
Many of us were raised under the fanfare of world changing. God put us here on earth, we were told, to change it.
Many of us (though not all) really believed that; many of us (though fewer) still do.
Impassioned by this call, we became “Generation Yes”. Anything is possible and we know because we’ve tried it.
However, the mark against us is that we tend not to uphold the opposite of our “yes”. That is, we’ve learned how to say yes but often forget how to say “no” when it counts.
But quitting is a strategic move towards growth. And we as Christians, more than any other group, should know that. See if any of these ring a bell:
- “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother…” (Genesis2:24)
- “Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
- “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:16)
- “Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?” (Luke 13:7)
- Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
For the Christian, quitting one thing to obediently and excellently do another should be part of our spiritual DNA.
Sadly, what we often find is a community of over-committed, coffee addicts running around hoping the juice we’re trying to wring out of our dehydrated rind will count as fruit.
If the Christian community is going to be a community of obedient excellence then it’s going to have to be a community of quitters. That is a people dedicated to quitting all other callings so they can fully commit to their calling.
Thus our “yes” and “no” have to be strategic. Thoughtful. Obedient.
This leads us to an interesting conclusion, if quitting is a strategic move, it can be included in our strategic plan. To that end, Seth gives the following assignment.
Write it down. Write down under what circumstances you’re willing to quit. And when. And stick to it.
He’s absolutely right. As you sit down to plan your moves ahead, include an exit strategy.
One of the most practical ways to do this is start with your values. Have a list of uncompromisable conflicts in place. Does it take away from your family? Church? Another project?
When you say yes to something, it will costs you. As you plan, decide ahead of time what you aren’t willing to pay. And if that “yes” starts over-charging, cut it loose.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30)