A Time to Retreat: When Quitting Is Your Best Option

Keep grinding.
Push through. 
Don’t quit. 
Never, never, never give up.

We live in a “can do” culture. And that’s all right. There’s much to be said for tenacity, focus and seeing our goals through to the end. When you’re climbing the right mountain, it’s worth whatever it takes to reach the summit.

That said, not every endeavor we undertake is good, or right, or smart. And these little jaunts are best left untraveled. Some missions are born out of mangled motives. To keep pressing on when we know we’re wrong is reckless and irresponsible. 

There’s a story in the Old Testament of a king named Rehoboam. When he mangled a critical leadership decision, his kingdom was torn apart. Ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel revolted. Rehoboam was left with less territory and fewer subjects. So, he rallied his troops and prepared to force the rebels and their leader back into submission. But before the battle begins, a prophet confronts the king. 

2 Chronicles 11:2-4 But the Lord said to Shemaiah, the man of God, “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin: ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So, they obeyed the message of the Lord and did not fight against Jeroboam.

God says, “You’re gearing up for the wrong fight. Turn around. 
These circumstances are part of my design. 
Stop resisting what already is. Accept it and move on.”

Are you wasting energy on a battle God hasn’t called you too?
Are you struggling to push back water that’s already under the bridge?
Are you burning precious moments trying to force life’s toothpaste back into the tube?
Then consider that God might be saying, 

“Stop. Go home. What has happened is my doing.”

Don’t spend all your time rejecting reality. Just hit pause and ask “God, what are you trying to teach me in this moment?” Once we realize we can’t change our circumstances, we can learn how to embrace them with patience, wisdom and peace.


Craig Custance