“Quitters never win and winners never quit.”
Our parents, teachers and cultural influences teach us this principal from a young age. It’s a phrase people live by.
In sports, in school, in work, in the face of fear, doubt and struggle, we are encouraged to push through rather than to pull out. We are told that if we persevere we will only come out stronger, whereas to abandon our suffering would only result in regret. But is this always the case?
While adversity and “pushing through” can be a good thing to build our characters and our reliance on God, sometimes quitting, as a form of change, can be a good thing.
Contrary to popular belief, withdrawing from an unpleasant situation can actually act as the first step to a positive change in a person’s life and be quite liberating. However, knowing just when to switch directions is a key ingredient in knowing the difference between being senseless and sensible in your decision to quit.
So, whether it’s a job, club, ministry opportunity or anything else, when are appropriate times to quit?
When Your Heart is No Longer in it
No matter what you’re doing, there will always be certain days or periods of time when you just aren’t feeling it. A lot of the time, this is simply a sign that you may be growing tired from having worked so hard for so long. You may just need a break.
But when a lack of motivation and enthusiasm becomes an everyday thing, it could indicate that you are no longer invested. No payoff, promotion or opportunity to advance is a big enough incentive to pull your weight whilst slapping a smile onto your face. Maybe you’re bored or have found something else you would rather invest your time and energy in. Whatever the reason, if the passion you once had is now burnt out, it could be a good time to find something else that will refuel that passion.
Besides, who wants to work with someone who has no interest in being there?
When Your Current Situation Turns Toxic
It is never OK to sacrifice our health for anything, especially for something in which we invest most of our time and energy. If this job or responsibility—no matter how great an opportunity it is—is causing you to feel overly stressed, over-worked or downright miserable, it might be time to let it go.
Maybe you just took a new job with long hours and leading a Bible study on top of that is too much for right now. Maybe you have found yourself surrounded by negative co-workers who are causing more harm than good. If you feel like you are caught in the middle of a downward spiral that is taking a toll on your mental, physical and emotional well-being, you can interpret the red flag as a green light to move onto something different.
When It’s Changing You for the Worse
As Christians, we strive to live out a life of worship in whatever it is that we do—through our conversations, our interactions with other people, the way we spend our free time and, of course, through our work.
We want what we do to have meaning. Although your current job may have once seemed like a good idea, if you now feel as though it’s not allowing you to serve a higher purpose—to expand God’s Kingdom—then you may have found yourself asking, “Is this what I should be doing?”
Maybe your line of work encourages you to adopt a certain lifestyle that does not glorify God or maybe you don’t agree with the values of your organization. On one hand, it’s important for Christians to aim to be a “light” amid the darkness. On the other hand, if your workplace fails to edify you or encourage you to shine this light, it can be a real challenge.
When God Calls You Elsewhere
Just because something is a good opportunity doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for you right now. Your current situation might just be a stepping stone to something greater that God has planned for you.
Moving on doesn’t mean you are giving up or copping out. Sometimes God brings us to a place to prepare us for what is to come, and it is only in that place that He reveals to us our next steps. Once we have learned all that we were meant to in that place, we can move onto our next adventure to be used by God, fully equipped.
There are several valid reasons to quit your job or other obligations. But of course, you shouldn’t just give it up on a whim without first having given a considerable amount of time and thought towards this decision. Seek advice from people you trust. Pray. Assess the over all situation—is it financially feasible to quit your job right now? Do you have something else lined up? If you back out of helping lead worship at church right now, will they have time to find someone to take your place?
Quitting doesn’t always have to be associated with the stigma that surrounds it. Whatever your current situation might be, it’s OK to seek change. That’s how we learn.
Sarah is a coffee addict and has been writing her whole life. She loves long drives, deep conversations and listening to 90s hip hop. When she isn't daydreaming about her life, she is binge watching TV shows or planning her wedding.