When Is It Time to Quit?



Sometimes it is smart to quit. I am not a quitter- and yet I have quit a time or two.

I am not a loser and yet I have lost a time or two.

Winning is not always about sheer determination. True, you can never win by quitting. And yet, sometimes that’s exactly what it takes to win.

I know all the cliches about quitting:
         “It’s always to soon to quit.”

         “Only quitters quit.”

         “If you quit once you’ll make it a habit.”

How about this scenario? You may be on the wrong road, heading in the wrong direction, beating the air- and no amount of determination will win that one. Sometimes you have to quit, start over on a completely different track, or let someone else do it.

Perseverance alone doesn’t ensure success. As the old line goes, “If you keep doing exactly as you are doing today, you can expect the same results.”

I’ve come up with a list of things that should dictate when it’s time to quit:

  • When you have discovered your motives are wrong.
  • When you learn that what you are doing is immoral.
  • When you are convicted by God and need to change.
  • When you realize you entered the game uninformed or misled.
  • When your health is suffering because of your commitment.
  • When what you are doing is breaking you, your family or your relationships.
  • When God has told you to quit.
  • When you realize your commitment was emotional and you do not have the ability to do the task at hand.
  • When you realize you were manipulated into the event.
  • When you’ve thought it through and you realize you can’t change the wrong.
  • When you’ve pondered awhile and realize it is right to quit either for you or the organization.
  • When your wife or husband supports your decision to quit.
  • When it’s time for change and you can’t do whats needed.
  • When your organization as a whole no longer supports your leadership.
  • When quitting is a rational decision and not emotional.
  • When you’ve had good advice from wise people to quit.
  • When the issue you’re facing cannot be resolved with good advice.

Lastly, and maybe the best one,

  • When you have prayed and prayed and thought and thought, and you feel great peace about quitting.

Those are a few good reasons to quit. However, each line needs a paragraph! When quitting is based upon something wrong, then resolve the issue, fix the problem and restart on a good foundation. Quitting is not the end nor the final answer; it is a decision to stop and restart in a new way.

I would not support anyone quitting because they are lazy, unmotivated, having a bad day, feeling blue, or discouraged. But there are positive ways to quit a job, a relationship, a career, or a mess that you’ve somehow gotten into.

Quitting should be a choice and not the only option. There are times when quitting makes sense.

However, I would be concerned if you’ve been quitting often.

Quitting is not about giving up. It is about changing direction. It is about rethinking the path and starting over. It is about reviewing and realizing “this is wrong”, and then doing what is right. Just so we are clear, quitting is not about stopping and doing nothing, it is about stopping what is not right, useful, productive, honest or good and choosing to do what is better.

Sometimes in quitting, you win something better!

Remember, I’ve quit a time or two but not too often and always for very good reasons- and I’m not sorry I did.

One Response to “When Is It Time to Quit?”

  1. Esther Akin says:

    Very insightful-sure makes a lot of sense
    Bless you

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