The Compassionate Quit

“Be merciful to those who doubt.” (NIV) Jude 1:22

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“I quit.”

With every Kindergarten foot-stomp, adult miscommunication, seven-year old sassy stare, and unnerved “NO!- That’s not something we tell the dog ‘NO’ for,” I holler down the hallways of my home, I yearn a little bit more for a vacation away from all of them …the people and the thoughts.

“You’re not a good parent…just give up.”

“You’re not a good wife…just give up.”

“You’re not a good friend…just give up.”

“You’re not a good writer…just give up.”

“You’re not a good …daughter, sibling, co-worker, church member …fill it in how it feels …and then just give up.”

If we’re being real, that’s someone’s reality. Today, it’s mine. I can see my lack of self-control reflected in my struggle to maintain the last word…even with my dog.

“Don’t you DARE bite me…” I’ll stare menacingly. They’re supposed to read your facial expressions, right? I’m not a good dog owner …maybe I should just give up.

My relationships reflect my constant battle with insecurities.

“They shouldn’t treat me that way…” Quit.

I crave entitlement to curb my doubts.

“I deserve better…” Walk away…again.

God met me right in the middle of this tantrum with a verse and a book that squashed my imagedoubt and commanded, “Don’t Quit.”

When we quiet the quitter by commanding compassion, we witness to the wavering. Through Jude 1:22 and Nicki Koziarz’s book, “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit,” Christ compelled me to stop whining keep walking.

 1. Quit the quitter.

“Have mercy on those who are wavering.” Jude 1:22 (TLV)

“Have loving-kindness for those who doubt.” Jude 1:22 (NLV)

imageRefuse to pour out doubt before you recognize the reflection. It’s unworldly to look in the mirror to heal ill-regard towards others. Justification is the more acceptable method of problem solving in our legalistic society.

It’s not the people and the circumstances in my life that are causing me mental unrest…it’s the disheveled way I’m running the course through and to my calling. But when I reach out and read I find I’m not alone…

Jude was Jesus’ brother. Yet, his qualification to speak on Christianity came from a lifetime of growing up in the same household with, but not believing, he lived among the Son of God. #oops (Men of the Bible, Bible Gateway) 

Nicki’s honesty in revealing her “Quit List” comforted me to tears. #AMEN Testimony can reach out in such a personal way when the faithful share God’s story of their life.

Life Application: It’s easy to pitch a tent of pointed fingers and quit hard people and situations, but I’d rather look back at the meandering path of walking with Christ. When we feel a hint of aggravation creeping into our temperament, stop and pray for God to unplug the compassion-clog.

2. Command Compassion

“And have mercy on some, who are doubting.” Jude 1:22 (NASB)

“And of some have compassion, making a difference.” Jude 1:22 (KJV) 

“And you must show mercy to those who’s faith is wavering.” Jude 1:22 (NLT)

My qwerty keyboard lit on fire with crying smiley-faces when Nicki shared her experience with peroxide contact solution in her eye. I was so thankful not to be the only one who had somehow dismissed the bright red cap of warning, and pictured myself doing the spazzed-out eye-burning dance as she recalled her own. (Page 64, 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.)

I expected her book to be funny and easy to relate to, but I did not expect to cry like a baby when she peeled back my secret struggle of marital life By unveiling her own honest sentiments. What secret? That it’s HARD. It’s so hard. Unbelievably hard, even when you’re blessed with the best.

I’m forever thankful she chose to come alongside of me that day. Her compassionate wave of the “It’s OK” flag released the flood gates of something I wasn’t sure was “normal” to feel. The next morning, God so faithfully and personally placed people in my kitchen to call it out and pray it out with me. #awesomeness.

“What is my responsibility to other people? Move with compassion. Touch the untouchable. Give what you can. Point to Jesus.” -Pastor Todd Nielsen, The Chapel

Christian love get’s lost in the movement, sometimes. Sharing the struggles behind the smiles of your life is “caring enough to move” (Pastor Todd Neilsen)…and that’s compassion defined. I pray God allows me to be there for other people like me, who exude laughter and encouragement, but are inclined and conditioned to tough it out.

Life Application: If we can learn to lean in to the One who made us a midst struggle and strife, I believe we’ll discover the confidence hidden in our truest pieces. And I know those pieces are meant to touch hearts and save souls.

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3. Witness to the wavering.

“On some have compassion, making a distinction.” Jude 1:22 (MSG)

“On some have compassion, using discernment.” Jude 1:22 (MEV

“Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt.” Jude 1:22 (TLB)

For anyone who tests out of personality quizzes with leadership skills like I do, the struggle with control is real. But God wouldn’t build a trait into my character unless He meant it for good. How can control be a good thing? The obvious benefits of self-control are easy to equate, but while studying this word I discovered a new layer.

“Control: A person who acts as a check. A check or restraint. To eliminate or prevent the flourishing or spread of. To test or verify…”-Dictionary.com

My religious upbringing lit the love of Christ in my heart, but there came a time when I imagehad to sift through rules to release my relationship with God. The floodgates of conversation flew open when I lifted up the consequential constraints of penance to begin running my disheveled course of calling. I had to lose control to gain control. 

Control of each soul’s marathon is beyond a human’s ability to reason and rule. As we stride up alongside each other on life’s disheveled course of calling, our duty is to extend an encouraging word and a “you can do it” through whatever personality skill you’re gifted the highest score.

“Christian freedom is not a hall pass to do whatever one wishes.” Case for Christ Study Bible, Jude image1:22  Rather, Christian freedom is the way Nicki described it in her book:
“Goodness, I mess up all the time. I say things I shouldn’t say. I have thoughts I shouldn’t have. I doubt when I should trust. I quit things I shouldn’t quit. And yet God is always there dabbing more and more grace on my soul. He doesn’t quit me; He just keeps ‘touching up’ the places of weakness in me.” Nicki Koziarz, “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.”

Sometimes, God’s people will dab grace on your soul during the race…

Life Application: When doubters see you overcome what they are underneath, a “me too” mentality is born from testimony. Share the hard stuff, and be real with God about your stuff.

Each translation of Jude 1:22 perpetuates a unique revelation. God will speak your language, where you’re at. Jude’s letter emphatically urged his audience to be wary of “grumblers and fault-finders” toting Christian freedom as “a license for immorality,” (Case for Christ Study Bible) and ended his letter by pointing back to God, who is “fully able to keep those who put there trust in Him.” (NIV Study Notes James 1:24-25)

Synonyms for control, according to Dictionary.com, are: management, government, reign, rule, mastery. Rest assured, the author of the universe is in control. Everything has a flip side. Christians know the ending. Stay focused on the finish line, and make the choice to keep your control setting flipped to His.

“When we feel others are not giving us what we need, it’s really easy to give up. We start to feel resentful, and maybe a little entitled.” Nicki Koziarz “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.”

imageIt’s a disheveled course, but God designed my personality to persevere around every sharp corner and up every steep…never-ending hill. Jesus’ scarred hands extend compassion to me…which bleeds out of my life, and prayerfully onto those who need to know that He loves them, too. That’s the mission. Until the we hug Him in heaven …there’s no time to quit.

Happy “Not” Quitting…

Megs

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17 thoughts on “The Compassionate Quit

  1. A topic near and dear to my heart … I’m just not good enough. But, our God says we are wonderful and uniquely equipped, therefore more than good enough! And there most definitely is no time to quit!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lori! We can all be not good enough together …following Him the best we know how to until the day He calls us home! Praise Him, who sets the “good” in our good enough. Happy Weekend!!

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  2. When women are authentic and real, there is room for wholeness to be extended in a way that healing consumes our hearts. This sounds like a book I need to read. Unfortunately I tend to say, ” I am done” a little more often than I need to. Thanks for this review!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The struggle is real! But even when we fall down in defeat, He gives us grace to keep going. I love your quote, “Until we hug Him in heaven there’s no time to quit! Thanks for sharing your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been so curious about the book, have seen it in a couple of places. So beautiful to look at different translations of that Jude verse. Yes, I’ve felt like giving up too, and yes, the struggle to let go of control is real (from one leader type to another 🙂 ) Praise God for His mercy and grace.

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  5. Meg, so much good stuff here. First, let me say, you have me drooling over that book. And secondly, the “You’re not a good …” ring through my ear as well, but when I think of quitting because of those words I remind myself that’s what the enemy would want and I most certainly am not going to let the enemy take the lead. Loved these words of encouragement, “Stay focused on the finish line, and make the choice to keep your control setting flipped to His.” So beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Crystal! Not letting he enemy take the lead… I love that. He sure tries to, doesn’t he? Like the inevitable poor sport in a pack of runners who cuts in a little too close, trying to to trip people up. Not us. Not today. Happy Wednesday, friend!!!!!!

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  6. Blah!! Megs, I’m crying all over my keyboard. THIS WAS SO ME not even 8 hours ago. ME. ALL ME. Oh, merciful Jesus, who puts right people in my path. I’m a hot mess right now, friend. This post is convicting me and it has me shouting for joy that I’m not alone. Up to and including the dog!! “It’s not the people and the circumstances in my life that are causing me mental unrest…it’s the disheveled way I’m running the course through and to my calling.” Thank you for this transparency and thank you for friendship. Hugs hugs from the virtual world. Hallelujah to the one whom knows our heart and still calls us His. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been a hot mess myself, lately! So teary-eyed!!! Oh, my goodness is He working out something in our souls!!! I’m so glad we’re in this together! Only God could cross two paths from Texas and Ohio the way He has ours. So crazy cool. Love, friend!!!!
      Happy Wednesday!!
      Megs

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  7. Oh Megs, these words: it’s like you’re reading God’s imprint upon my heart. I’m preparing the release of a book called Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering on Mother’s Day in honour of God’s shining Light in my Mum’s life, who passed away from glioblastoma multiforme on April 8th 2014. And you know the things you share are the things God has been leading me through in this journey I share on the pages He has written through me. In my book I share the complete and utter brokenness and despair He unearthed within me, but also of His Mighty Pursuing Love. I’d love to send you a free copy!

    I’m now writing a series on receiving God’s Love because God showed me that I couldn’t truly Love (i.e. let His actions of Love flow out of me) if I didn’t accept Him= His Love for me (patience, kindness, His cloak of righteousness, His promise to never ever leave or forsake me, the worth He has gifted me as the daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry your loss, and inspired that you used such a hard storm to turn around release your words to inspire other hearts. Way to go!! You’re so sweet to send this book lover a copy! Email me and we’ll swap addresses! (I’m a huge snail mail fan!!!) (Meganebucher@gmail.com)

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