The Difference Between Resting & Quitting

The Difference Between Resting and Quitting

Quitting isn’t always for losers, it is usually the sign of a weary or worldly soldier of Christ. There is a definite difference between quitting and resting. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of this topic is a note that someone wrote to a pastor friend in the yearbook when he graduated with his Master’s degree. The last line of the note said, “Remember, sometimes you must rest a while, but just don’t quit.” Even years later I remember that one line. God has used it to help me, and I pray He will also use it to help you.

Let’s take a look at some Bible quitters:

  • Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world. (2 Timothy 4:10)
  • John Mark left his work at some point in his ministry and the apostle Paul was so frustrated that he was not willing to take him along with him again in Acts 15.
  • All of the disciples forsook Christ and fled when Christ was arrested. (Mark 14:50)

But before we judge too harshly, let’s admit that the thought has probably crossed our mind once or twice, or really maybe on some days once or twice an hour.

Quitting for the wrong reasons usually involves one or more of the following:

  1. Not allowing God’s Word to be the greatest influence in your life.
  2. Forsaking godly counsel.
  3. Walking away from a commitment or vow you made to the Lord.
  4. Listening to and believing lies Satan whispers to you about God and His work.
  5. A love for the things of the world, rather than heavenly things.
  6. Lust and covetousness.
  7. Disregarding the Holy Spirit’s convictions and God’s warning signs keeping you from quitting.
  8. An attitude of ungratefulness.
  9. Selfish motives.
  10. Following men rather than God.
  11. Accepting praise that belongs to God alone.
  12. Looking at people instead of the Heavenly Father.
  13. Unforgiveness and bitterness.
  14. Blocking your ears and heart from hearing Christ-centered preaching.
  15. Lowering your Biblical standards and substituting them with worldly practices.
  16. Replacing godly friends with friends that have lower standards and values.
  17. Discontentment with your current ministry and comparison with other ministries.
  18. Stiffening your neck and being disobedient.

Quitting does not usually happen over night without some warning signs. Almost all of us have seen someone slowly slip away. People, even those in ministry, do not normally jump off ship and run away to the Bahamas with a hot babe that isn’t their spouse in a day.

Satan and the flesh can work against you if you let it and before you know it you can be just a statistic or a vessel set on the shelf by God with no earthly use because you have laid down your sword and abandon the call of God on your life and quit.

The responsibility and accountability are up to us. We must see these warning signs creeping up in our lives and not allow the temptation to quit on God, our family, and our ministry become thoughts we dwell on.

So, if you’re weary and you’re tired and you realize that you just feel so overwhelmed because your ministry is not doing what you think it should when you think it should, then REST!

Resting for the right reasons usually involves:

  1. A temporary time of recharge.
  2. The Holy Spirit’s call and moving.
  3. Changes (small or large) to restore the relationships in your family.
  4. More time to be able to seek God’s perfect will for your life.
  5. Bible reading and searching for God’s answers.
  6. More prayer.
  7. Godly counsel and advice from trusted friends and mentors.
  8. Serving God without large amounts of responsibility.
  9. Quality time with your family.
  10. Listening to Christ-centered preaching and music.
  11. Vacation!!
  12. Purposeful planning for the future including ministry plans and other family-oriented plans.
  13. Unplugging from ministerial responsibility and pursuing hobbies and other things you enjoy.
  14. Reconnecting with other ministry friends and sharpening one another through good encouraging communication. (Call or visit them!)

God did all of His work in the work of Creation and guess what!? HE RESTED!! There is no shame in taking a break or even a nap! While we know that some people may need a longer period of rest than others, we should be understanding and encouraging to them during that time.

Go to God for your rest, it is one of the many benefits to being a Christian.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Rest will do your body, soul, and spirit good! Just do it! It’s better than the alternative!

P.S. Later in scripture John Mark was counted worthy again by call for the work of the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11) So, even if you have quit, you may not be able to be restored to the position you once had, but God can still use your life!

Underneath a Load of Care

Sometimes we get overworked and we hear about one more problem and we shrink beneath our load of care. I hope you will read this poem that I wrote and find hope and strength to walk to the Saviour and have Him lift your burdens.

Underneath A Load of Care

Underneath a load of care, one more ounce I cannot bear.

The issues of each day abound and their duties and weight compound.

Sinking low into life’s sands, I feel the brush of someone’s hand.

My tired body is lifted up and an invitation Christ bids, with Him to sup.

While at His table He gives me food and reminds me of all that He’s done that’s good.

He spoke gently of the load He bore and instructed me not to be burdened anymore.

I left my load behind today; His light yoke I will bring along the way.

This victory in Him to live, ask for it and He will give!

Jesus in heaven is waiting for you to give your load to Him too.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

© The Ministry Mama 2010

Untimely Death & The Sins of Others

Ministry news comes in many forms, the greatest is the good news! The eye-witness accounts of the salvation of souls and the transformation of lives as people turn from worldliness to godliness. The joy of families having healthy babies and training their children to grow up following the Lord the best they know how. More good news from the mission field of churches being established and left in the hands of the national people. The saint that has followed the Lord faithfully to the end of their life and are now in the presence of the Saviour. The rejoicing when those in our church surrender to God’s calling on their life, whether it is for them to be in the ministry or simply becoming a more godly Christian. These are the reports that fill the heart sometimes until it wants to explode in praise to God the Father for all the good God does in the hearts of men.

Then, the flip side, the news that can shake your faith and leave questions in your mind about the goodness of the Lord. The things that I cannot shake this week does not have to do with worry about life but the why’s of life. In the closet of my heart hang these questions of why do evil things have to happen? Why do godly people suffer? Why do Christians willfully make choices to sin against the Lord?

All people have these questions, some people even use them as an excuse not to believe in God or allow Him to have an influence in their lives. But me, God chose me to be in His service and I still have questions, doubts even. Yet, I must have faith and hope that He is Omniscient (all-knowing), and Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (ever-present). Not only does God see the imperfection of this world He sees the questions hanging in my heart.

For me this week it revolves around death… untimely death. A deacon in our church has been given a 2 month diagnosis with his 14 brain tumors that have returned after 6 years of remission. Then there is the situation of a missionary’s wife we support that was killed on Valentine’s Day. The likely suspect is her husband that was arrested a few days ago. The report that our city is one of the highest leaders in partial birth abortion just makes me sick to my stomach. Then the thought of 2 Christian friends I have known in the past that have taken their lives. The list can go on from car wrecks to household accidents… the evil report of untimely death can weigh heavy on the heart of people in the ministry and hang over you like a cloud if you let it.

The report of sin has also been weighing me down… Finding out about people’s choices to sin gets to me. It has caused me to question every motive of a person and whether they really love the Lord, or whether the conversations we’ve had in the past were actually real conversations or fake representations of who they were.  Whether their motives were pure when they did right. The grief of knowing secret things of people’s lives can really mess with your head if you let it.

I remember a time when I was an assistant RA (Resident Advisor) in college and in the middle of the afternoon some of the girls in our dorm started having a conversation about a trip they went on and how they went to a concert instead of the girl’s house like they had reported. The room got silent as they realized I was sitting there and in my heart I sighed because now I was going to have to let the Dean of Women know about it… their choices obligated me to have to take action according to the rules of the school.

Churches have specific leadership requirements and people do not see how their sin keeps them from serving in the particular positions that they wish to work in. Or their choices disqualify them from service and obligate someone else to confront them and remove them from service. It’s a grief to know about all the faulty choices people make. The questions hanging in my closet are: Why do people choose to hurt themselves and the name of Christ by choosing to sin? Do they realize how their sin affects others?

When others sin, it sits on the doorstep of my mind and  it causes me to make a decision about how I feel about them, what I think about them, how I am going to respond to this knowledge of their choices. It is my response to these thoughts that determine if I will allow the decisions that others make to be a stumbling block for me.

People generally do not walk away from God in an instant, it’s a slow process, like the Chinese water torture method of dripping. The dripping of doubts and questions may break my heart and my will to fight for God’s Kingdom. It may not be that I fall into that same sin that someone else is involved in but if I allow Satan to bring thoughts, questions, and doubts about who God is and His goodness then it could take me steps farther from Him. The more questions and doubts I allow the more steps away from God I could take until I finally walk away… Oh Lord, I never want to walk away from you or the work you have for me! Please help me with my thoughts!

The solution for the questions hanging in the dark closet of my heart has to be that I must give over my questions and thoughts of all the evil reports that I hear over to the Lord. I must do what it says in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him.”

Some people have thick tough skins and it may not bother them to hear of untimely death or church members sinning but many things eat like a canker sore at my heart and cause me to run them through my head a million times over.  I have no other spiritual choice than to say, “Lord, I can’t handle this, please take this from my mind and memory right now. I can’t fix this, only you can.”

God takes them from me, and the rest of the verse tells me why, “he careth for you.” God does not want me to be weighted down heavily with the evils of sin and the problems of this world even if they have to do with members in our church or members of my family. He wants to carry any and all burdens from me.

Here’s a Special Note:

It’s important that when we converse with other Christians, even our friends in the ministry, that we do not dump reports of sin and evil on them in every conversation that we have. You really do not know the sensitivity they have about dealing with facts of sin and evil. Some people may grieve,  others will get angry and may feel motivated to do something about it personally when it is not their place to say or do something.

I have been so thankful for a few situations where friends have known of someone in the ministry that have fallen into sin and told me about the person having a sin problem but have NOT disclosed the details.

Philippians 4:8 is very significant in revealing what my thoughts and reports should be:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

We live in a sin cursed world where things do not make sense at times and the hope we have is to think on God’s good things… that is why it is so wonderful to hear good news from afar and to see the work of God in the hearts and lives of people in His church. Good news can be the relief to help take the burdens off of others’ shoulders. We should not reject real and serious problems with the “power of positive thinking.” There is a time and place for everything. Asking the Lord to give you discretion on how to deal with sensitive topics and whether you should disclose details on “negative” or sinful reports will help you make wiser decisions and relieve others from unnecessary burdens.

As I pillow my head tonight I can have peace that the questions hanging in my closet have been given away. God’s taking them to Goodwill for me and replacing them with lovely things to hang in their place. Thank you Lord for taking my burdens and caring for me!

And another side note:

Does this mean that because I have questions or doubts or that the knowledge of other people’s sin bothering me that I am not qualified to counsel other women that confess their faults? No, any time a lady brings a problem to you, you are responsible for pointing them to the Lord and helping them find answers in His Word. You are not responsible for changing them or coming up with a solution to change them. God changes people, His Word and Holy Spirit must be used to convict them so that they can change. Notify your pastor and let him know if someone has spoken to you. And remember you should always keep matters of counseling private and cast any and all things to the Lord so that you can live free from the bondage of knowing too much.