We began this series with Jesus and we end it with Jesus. When tempted to quit, throw in the towel… think of Jesus. Those ‘big’ problems that are causing you such a ‘head-ache’, put them at the foot of the cross… picture Jesus looking down, bleeding from his head, his hands and feet, exhausted, thirsty, exposed and mocked.
W.W.J.S. (What would Jesus say?) Is this problem a big deal? If Jesus had this problem, would he quit?
“Not fair!” you say? Well, someone needs to say it! He is our example, our pattern in life. As Paul said, “It’s no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me.” It’s when problems come, our pride, feelings, ‘rights, desires, flesh, take over. Yet on Sunday morning we go and meet with the saints, and sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy…” “Lord make me a servant”, etc… Somehow, we have managed to divorce our life and our religion. We are good at quoting scriptures about most everything, but poor at applying the principles of scripture to our self, our situation.
What are some things we need to keep from quitting?
We have mentioned:
- Prayer (Help me Lord!!)
- Commitment (make it to each other)
- Patience (endurance / stick-to-it-ive-ness)
- Forgiveness (‘first stone’) What else?
- Love (agape style). What does love do/not do? Read I Cor. 13; Romans 12:9-21. This love is not mushy, emotional, ‘up/down’, ‘on/off’. It is a constant, deliberate thing that lasts and lasts. It is specifically, the type of love that is Christ-like. It will sacrifice itself and tough it out. It never quits. This love has perspective, and can discern what is and what is not a big deal.
- The Holy Spirit, our continuing Helper. He is there to help us, encourage us to keep on keeping on. The one who quits, is one who is not listening to God’s Spirit. Could Jesus have quit (rebelled against) going through 40 days in the wilderness? Sure! Could Jesus have refused to wash the feet of Judas? Sure! But He didn’t. The Spirit of God was with Jesus, and is with us. In the words or Winston Churchill, “Never, Never, Never… QUIT.”
- Disagree if you must, BUT… But what?! Well, Don’t quit! Learn to disagree without getting fed up and disgusted, offended, and walking out. How many times have brethren walked out of services or classes, because they don’t agree with a song used or a statement made, or something done. You say. “Well, I disagreed!” “I felt this or that! “Ok, so why not get with the person after service and ask about it? Why not find out more information? why not sit and talk about it? Problem is we don’t know how to “argue”, “disagree” or communicate and work things out. Principle: PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE, GOD IS GOD. People are not perfect. They make mistakes. That’s why forgiveness is so important in the church. Gossip, back biting, politicking, etc… have no place in the body of Christ. (Someone has to say this!)
- Practical suggestions:
a.) “Things change”. “I hate change!” “When will we quit changing things?” Well, there is nothing wrong with ‘change’ per se. We live in a world that changes fast. and the church can change in some areas too. “Progress” does not necessarily mean one is a “Progressive”. There are things that can be changed and some cannot. The gospel, Lord’s Supper, Baptism for remission of sins, are a few of the things which are ‘core’ issues and foundational. These are tied to our salvation. There are many things where we are free to use our good sense in deciding what is best for us or any local work. Every congregation does not have to ‘goose-step’ to be a part of the body of Christ.
b.) “No Big Deal” It is surprising at the things we get upset over. Things that are “NBD”, but we make them Big.
c.) “Compromise” It is not wrong to give and take, compromise, look for a ‘middle ground’ over things that are no big deal. Things where we are at liberty to act on behalf of what is best for the work here.
d.) “Autonomy” Each congregation determines its own direction and method of outreach and operation under Christ.
e.) “Consensus is good” i.e. “majority rules” In the absence of elders, we have to take a vote on things. Do it right the first time. Majority rules. That’s it. Don’t pout and quit if you don’t get your way. Personal preference and opinion is never congregational rule.
BOTTOM LINE- DON’T QUIT, Jesus didn’t quit on you.