Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, June 6 - Time To Quit

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” — Romans 12:2

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There’s no doubt you have heard the familiar quote: “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” However, in this devotional, I would like to encourage you to quit. Let’s discover what it is we should be quitting.

1) Quit bad habits. I’ve read that the best way to quit a bad habit is to start a new one. What new habits would you like to start incorporating in your life? Exercising, eating healthier, flossing, reading, journaling, the list can go on and on. It was several years ago that God opened up my eyes, more importantly my heart, to start instilling some spiritual disciplines and habits in my life. A great read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, as we understand that it takes 21 days for a habit to form. “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny” (unknown author).

2) Quit making excuses. I once had my students write this sentence out 100 times as a writing assignment (and as a form of discipline): “An excuse only sounds good to the one who makes it.” Nike’s tagline is “Just Do It,” but it also had an ad campaign called “No Excuses.” The ads were challenging consumers to not make excuses. I can’t help but think of Moses when he was called by God from the burning bush. God was instructing Moses what to do and he fires back (no pun intended) with excuse after excuse — actually, five of them. But so many times this is me, making excuses. God, please forgive us when we are called and our first response is to make an excuse.

3) Quit complaining. Exodus 16:2-3 says, “In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’” Do you ever find yourself complaining like the Israelites? I do! Again, please forgive us God. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I’ve found the best antidote for complaining is gratefulness. Have you considered a gratitude journal or a gratitude walk? The chorus of the old hymn “Count Your Blessings” goes like this: “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Instead of complaining about the things we don’t have, let’s be thankful for the things we do have.

4) Quit doing and start being. May I remind you that we are called human beings not human doings. If you’re anything like me, you may pride yourself in a good to-do list. It’s easy for me to prioritize and list out my agenda items. Oh, the satisfaction I receive from crossing them out one by one when they’re completed. I challenge you to make a “to be” list. I aim to be more loving, to be more forgiving, to be more empathetic. I want to be a better listener, to be a better encourager, to be a better husband, father and friend. I’m reminded of when Jesus came to visit two sisters. One sister, Martha, was go-go-go, cleaning the house, making the food, doing doing doing. Mary, on the other hand, was sitting at Jesus’ feet, being still, enjoying His presence. Martha was doing while Mary was being. Forgive me, God, when I focus so much on my “to do” list rather than my “to be” list.

5) Quit being comfortable. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, and am still learning, is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Comfort can be lethal, and when we are comfortable we don’t grow. Author John Maxwell shares, “You can’t have comfort and growth.” I know when I’m comfortable in a certain situation or job, I tend to relax and do things in my own strength. As I have gone through some major transitions in the past few years, I’ve learned that it is God who — through my weakness and being uncomfortable — gives me strength. “Do Hard Things,” by Steve Magness, was a book that challenged me to do some difficult and uncomfortable things. I challenge you to try and do the hard things. Try doing one uncomfortable thing today.

It’s time to quit those bad habits. It’s time to quit making excuses. It’s time to quit complaining. It’s time to quit doing. And finally, it’s time to quit being comfortable. Sometimes quitting may actually get you closer to winning where it matters.

— Jim Good

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