When Is A Good Time To Quit?
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Jonah 3:2-3
Here’s a question: How long do you think it takes to be good at something? Therapists tell us that the answer is approximately 6 months to learn a new skill and 9 years to master it. That’s a long time of trial, error and probably, discouragement. If you’ve faced this type of discouragement, know that there is a time and a place to quit things, but it’s not as soon as we might feel like quitting.
No one masters anything without trial, error, and discouragement. Recall that Moses in the Bible asked God to choose someone else to lead the Israelites because his crime record and speech impediment felt like insurmountable obstacles. Jonah deliberately bought a boat ticket taking him in the opposite direction that God had directed because he was offended by the assignment God had given him. Even the Apostle Peter lied about his association with Jesus multiple times to save his own skin.
Instead of giving up on these people, God forgave, encouraged, and equipped them to keep going. No one who repents runs out of chances to obey God’s calling on their life. Every setback is an opportunity to ask ourselves: is God asking me to go in a different direction, or is God providing training for the next phase of the plan? Plans do change and discerning the plan might take you 9 years or a lifetime but following God’s direction for your life is something worth never quitting.
Resource reading: Jonah 3:1-10