Danger Of Quitting Too Soon!!!
There are seasons in all of our lives when we find ourselves going through a tough time. Sometimes life can be so overwhelming with responsibilities and concerns that one could snap crackle and pop just like that. What makes life’s journey so interesting and often frustrating is its unpredictability. We cannot always predict how life will turn out especially when we go through seasons of uncertainty. There are times when we assumed we see light at the end of the tunnel and a fresh start on the horizon only to discover it was a train. These are the times in life when we feel like throwing in the towel.
However, the Apostle Paul warns Christians of the clearly danger of quitting too soon. When we quit too soon… We lose a lesson we should have learned and miss a blessing we could have had. How many times have you become frustrated and fed up and thrown in the towel only to regret the decision later? When life seems to wear you down the Apostle Paul teaches us to do 4 things:
- Don’t make your move too soon – Evaluate The Setting
- Hang on in there – Endure A Bit Of Suffering
- Do the right thing – Exemplify The Savior
- Believe in the eventually – Expect The Spectacular
Paul wrote this letter to multiple churches in Galatia. It is a culmination of the thoughts that were expressed by Paul in chapter 5. In chapter 5 Paul concluded his description of the fruit of the spirit by defining 9 characteristics that described the fruit of the spirit. His parting words in chapter 5 were for those in the faith to never compare ourselves with one another thinking we are better. In chapter 6 Paul teaches us to help those who are overcome with faults that hinder the growth of their faith. He outlines a litany of directives to the Christian to ascribe to for a victorious Christian life. Let me give you the snapshot:
- Do Right & Help People Who Are In Trouble – vs. 1-2
- Do Right & Don’t Get A Big Head – vs. 3
- Do Right & Have Integrity In The Work You Do – vs. 4
- Do Right & Make Sure You Have Been Taught And Trained God’s Word – vs. 6
- Do Right & Share With Those Who Have Taught And Trained You – vs. 6
- Do Right & Don’t Underestimate God’s Law of Reciprocity – vs. 7-8
Here it is! Paul is saying that being a good Christian can at times make you feel as though you are a doormat that has been walked on, used for others gain. Yet despite what comes your way do the right thing and don’t quit doing it. That sets the context for verse 9. In verse 9 Paul said keep doing what is right no matter how hard it may become or discouraged we may get. Don’t miss the connection that Paul makes with verse 7 and verse 9. In verse 9 Paul continued the analogy of sowing and reaping that he picked up on in verse 7 and contends that a farmer will have no harvest to reap if he becomes too weary to work the fields. Likewise, believers must not become discouraged and give up when living for Jesus Christ or else they will have nothing to reap in due season. The message of verse 9 is… When we do good persevere without fainting and in God’s time we will see a brighter day. This text is tailored to teach 4 things:
DON’T MAKE YOURE MOVE TOO SOON
The word “weary” here means, “flagging, fainting, despondent, discouraged.” When we become “weary” the natural response is to quit. Yet, Paul encourages us to Evaluate The Situation. There are times when we must…
- Go sit down somewhere.
- Have a little talk with Jesus: Don’t just talk to Him but wait for Him to talk to you. Wait for the answer. The story is told of a wealthy woman that called the manager of a concert hall. She asked, “Have you found a diamond pendant? I think I lost it in your building last night.” The manager said, “No, we haven’t found it, but we will look. Please hold the line.” After several minutes of searching someone found the diamond. The manager came back on the line and said, “I’ve got good news. We found you pendant . . . Hello? . . . Hello?” The woman became weary of waiting and had hung up. The diamond was never claimed . . .Whatever your situation is the answer is on the way! Don’t hang up. Wait on the Lord.
- Look at the situation again: God may instruct you to leave at once or He may lead you too stick around.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 (KJV) – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
HANG ON IN THERE
To endure weariness is a mark of growth. It places the Christian in a position of mimicking Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Luke 9:23 (KJV) – “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” If there is no cross to bear there will be no crown to wear. The cross is an inconvenience but the crown is an investment. Yet, the investment of the crown far outweighs the inconvenience of the cross. There are times when Jesus expects us to hang on in there for His namesake. After all, it was on the cross of Calvary that He “hung on in there” for us. He was hung up for our hang-ups. James 1:4 (KJV) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Endure A Bit Of Suffering.
Louis Binstock, in his book, The Road to Successful Living, tells the story of a diamond prospector by the name of Rafael Solano who became discouraged sitting on a boulder in the dry river bed when he announced to his two companions, “I quit! There’s no use going on any longer. See this pebble? It makes about 999,999 that I’ve picked up and not a single diamond. If I pick up another, it will be a million – but what’s the use? I’m quitting.” It was 1942 and the three men had spent months prospecting for diamonds in a Venezuelan creek bed. They had worked, clothes were ragged, and for months no diamonds. They had never thought about quitting until Solano said, “I quit”. Equally discouraged, one of them said, “Pick up another and make it a million.” Solano said, “All right,” and put his hand in a pile of pebbles and pulled one out almost the size of a hen’s egg. “Here it is,” he said, “the last one.” But it was heavy – too heavy. He looked. “Boys, it’s a diamond!” he shouted. Harry Winston, a New York jewel dealer, paid Rafael Solano $200,000 for that millionth pebble. Named The Liberator, it was the largest and purest diamond ever found.
DO THE RIGHT THING
When life turns the corner we have the tendency to say, “I was doing better before I became a Christian.” However, the ability to do the right thing in a bad situation is what separates the Christian from “the world”. Even when the world treats us badly we are to do the right thing. David said in Psalm 37:1-3 – “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” That means no matter what happens to you when you “do the right thing” God will take care of you. Exemplify The Savior.
IMAGINE THE EVENTUALLY
Paul’s conclusion of verse 9 is conditional. It is a preposition: “for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” What is at stake here is the understanding of the dynamics of seasons and the power of imagination. “Due season” as Paul mentions in this text has nothing to do with chronological time and it does not fit into a category with winter and summer solstice. Due season cannot be calculated or anticipated as a date on the calendar. It has nothing to the idiosyncrasies of ones chronometer, which is in direct, accord with the great cynderical movement by which all time is most commonly kept. Due season is not about time but a moment in time that’s pregnant with possibilities. Due season is about God’s time and when He get’s ready. The most important thing the Christian can do to prepare for it is prepare for it. Expect The Spectacular.
In other words, don’t miss the opportunities that God sends your way to get you prepared! Why? Missed opportunities because of quitting too soon makes it difficult for one to imagine the eventually. The eventually is… one day your season will come but you’ve got to endure some stuff before you get there!
That’s why God does not give us some of our dreams and desires immediately but places us on His list called “eventually”. If He always gave us what we wanted immediately we would have nothing to work for. God wants us to work the eventuallly. Can I tell you something? Imagination helps you live longer and causes you to work harder. Psalm 126:5-6; “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning. That is to say, at the present moment it may look bad but eventually there will be joy!
Paul’s intent was not for them or us to just be earthly good but to have a good eternity! That’s what’s really at stake in this text. Eternal life. You have to go back to verse 8 when Paul said, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
Whether you go to heaven or hell depends in some way on whether you grow weary in well doing. Paul said if you sow to the flesh the flesh would reap corruption but if you sow to the Spirit you will reap eternal life. That’s why he says, “And let us not (therefore) grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if you faint not.” Eternal life is the issue here!
I was riding along listening to a celebrity talking on the radio the other day. She gave some small chatter about her career and how there were people that were in and out of her life because of her celebrity. She mentioned how selective she had become with her friend circles and then she made a statement that arrested me. She said, “I want all my friends to have cars, planes and toys.” I thought about the statement and said I would like for my friends to have so much more. I would like for them to have faith, endurance and imagination. Why? Because cars, planes and toys are restricted to this earth but faith, endurance and imagination are essential for eternal life.
I want to suggest that we all need someone in our lives that our concerned about how we “finish” not just how we “flash”.
I close with this story told by “Homiletics” of Muhammad Ali’s answer to the question of the greatest lesson he’d ever learned. Ali told the story of a heavyweight title bout against Sonny Liston in 1964. “Liston was the strongest man I’d ever fought. Every time I hit him, it hurt me worse than it did him. I gave him everything I had. When the sixth round ended, I was completely spent. I couldn’t even raise my arms. I couldn’t even stand up to go back onto the ring. ‘I’m goin’ home!’ I told Angelo Dundee. ‘I’m not going back in there!’ Dundee demanded that Ali get ready to go in. Ali refused. The bell rang, and still Ali didn’t leave his seat. Dundee pushed him and shouted, ‘Get in there and don’t come out until you’re the heavyweight champion of the world.’ Ali struggled to his feet. Liston didn’t. At the end of that fight, Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay was the new heavyweight champion of the world. “The greatest lesson I’ve learned,’ Ali said, ‘is to have someone pushin’ you and makin’ you do things you don’t think you can do.”
When you’ve given life everything you’ve got and it’s not enough, that’s when you need someone in our corner, someone to cheer you on. You need someone reminding you that God wouldn’t asked you to do anything that you can’t finish. Is there an Angelo Dundee in your life? And how have you been the voice of courage for someone else?
God is looking for finishers! Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:8 (KJV) – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV) – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Finally, the best example of not quitting we have is in Jesus Christ. In John 19:30 (NIV) Jesus said, “It is finished.” I’m so glad Jesus didn’t quit!
Improving My Serve!
Dr. Oscar T. Moses