4 Times Not To Give Up

I want to give up! This isn’t worth me putting in the time and effort anymore.

These are a few thoughts that have gone through my mind lately.

You don't have to give up

Image by Dee Ashley

And while there are times to give up, there are also times we shouldn’t give up. Even those these thoughts have filled my mind, I know it’s not time to give up yet.

There’s so much more to do and so many more lives to impact.

Have you been there? Have you felt like giving up?

I’m sure you have. We all go through periods where our desire to lead feels like it’s misdirected.

We believe we need to give up when:

1. We want to give up when we feel our leadership is not producing results: We’ve been taught that results are the product of our effectiveness.

We have to see people grow. We have to see profits increase. We have to see change happen.

However, we won’t always see the change or the profits or the growth. Sometimes we’re there to lead through planting.

When I think of this, my mind goes to John 4:37. We’re reminded here that:

…One sows and another reaps

I take this to mean some of us are going to do the hard work of sowing into the lives of those we lead and into our organizations.

We’re going to break ground. We’re going to do life with others. We’re going to lay the foundation.

And then others will come in and reap the harvest.

Others will see lives changed. Others will see profits increase. Others will reap what we have sown.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s good.

Remember this when it looks like there’s no growth. You might not be the one destined to see the results.

2. We want to give up when we experience haters: You’re going to cast a vision. You’re going to have a plan. You’re going to share a message.

And then you’re going to face a hater.

A hater is someone who’s against you. They don’t don’t have your back and they let you know it.

Recently, I experienced this with my blog. While my email subscriber list continues to grow, I had someone unsubscribe. And they left a message…

There are better subscriptions about leadership.

Ouch! This hurt and made me consider giving up.

My mind told me that since he thought my blog was sub-par, there were many others who did as well.

Jon Acuff calls this hater’s math and it can make a leader want to quit.

What we’ve got to realize is that even if someone doesn’t like what we do or where we’re going, it’s okay. We don’t have to be liked by everyone. We do need to care about those we’re charged with though.

3. We want to give up when good leaders go bad: We’ve all had people we looked up to make mistakes. Through these mistakes, they’ve fallen from grace.

We begin to feel that we’ve followed a fake. We’ve been deceived and this means we’re not meant to lead.

Don’t buy into this lie.

When a leader fails, it’s not on you. It’s on the leader.

What you’ve received from those leaders should hold any less weight either. The words, if truth, are still truth.

Don’t doubt yourself because you’ve seen others fail.

4. We want to give up when we lack direction: After Pam and I left our church, it’s been hard on us. We’ve been searching for a new church to call home.

We left the church not knowing where to go next. We knew it was the right thing but there was no direction.

We believed we were being told to go like God told Abraham to go in Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

But months into our journey, we began to feel we would never find another church home. We began to feel like we made a bad choice. We began to feel like we needed to give up.

Yet we knew we have to persevere.

Though there’s a lack of direction, you can continue moving forward. You have to take the next step to see your next destination.

If you throw in the towel now, you’ll never discover your true calling.

Giving up is easy. And sometimes it’s the right choice.

Most of the times, though, it’s not. It’s taking the easy way out.

When you’re called to lead, the path isn’t easy. It’s difficult and lined with chances to give up.

To become a leader worth following, you’ve got to push aside the easy. You’ve got to put the thought of quitting early out of your mind.

Question: What do you do when you feel like quitting? Let’s discuss this and encourage others not to give up in the comments section below.

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