Proverbs 26:11 – “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his foolishness.”
How many times have you said or heard someone say, “I’m trying to quit…” That may be applied to a myriad of things in life and we have all said, thought, or heard that declaration. I understand the difficulty a person has stopping a habit or practice long formed and how painful the withdrawals can be.
I know a man that has said for at least 40 years, “I’m trying to quit smoking.” He has never succeeded but he is still trying and one day another friend said, “Quit trying to quit and quit!” I have heard people say regarding gossip, “I’m trying to quit.” Some are trying to quit eating too many sweets, being couch potatoes, being critical, being negative, or a host of other things they are trying to quit.
Clovis G. Chappell said, “It is better to make a thousand failures than to be too cowardly to ever undertake anything.” That is true and I have learned that failure is not the opposite of success, it is, in a very real way, part of it. A failure can be turned into a triumph and gain if we learn from our mistakes and realize that in many things in life, WE CANNOT but HE CAN!
The Psalmist made an incredible statement in Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” That is foreign to the mentality and philosophy of some in the world and the church that affliction or difficulty can be good. It is not good being in an affliction but good in what it produces or the result in our lives as we LEARN! In a sense that is embodied in Romans 8:28. As we learn that ALL THINGS are working together for good and rather than looking at each event in life look to the finished product, the goal, the plan, and purpose of God and rejoice in ALL THINGS and at ALL TIMES!
Back to our topic of Quitting trying to quit and quitting. James 4:7 did not say, “Ask me to resist the devil and he will flee from you.” It says, “…submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The next verse says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” That is you acting not just praying for something to happen.
When I hear, “I’m trying to quit” I have two thoughts and/or emotions that occur almost simultaneously in my head. First, I have a sense of empathy and compassion for the plight they are enduring from that bondage whatever it might be. Second, I think, “You are conditioning yourself for failure by trying to…” If I make my objective to TRY TO I am not focusing on the objective of DOING or ACHIEVING that objective and failure is likely if not assured. There comes a time when we need to RESIST and once we do I believe God will come to our aid and strengthen us.
James 3 speaks of the tongue and putting a bridle on it so we can control it. Proverbs 18:21 speaks of “life and death” are in the power of the tongue. We read in the Bible about blessings and cursing not being able to come from the same stream and I contend that setting our goal to “try to” is becoming that of which James 1:8 speaks, “double-minded.”
If the Bible is true, and it is, then the declaration and promise of Philippians 4:13 is an awaiting reality for each of us. It says, “I can (not maybe I can) do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” [Emphasis and inclusion mine]. Therefore, my declaration is “I have quit trying to quit and am quitting.”
I am setting aside, as Hebrews 12:1 declares, “…every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares me…” I am casting off every unnecessary encumbrance and weight that has entangled itself around my life and by an act of will and faith I am looking to the author and finisher of my faith to help me be that fully matured, complete person He desires me to be. I make a faith choice to “Quit trying to quit and quit!” Then, by quitting I am committing to in a new and deeper way to Him whom I live and move and have my being.
My encouragement is to tell you that QUITTING whatever you deem necessary to quit is possible and can be a realized reality if we will “Quit trying to quit and quit.” My prayer for each one is that the LORD will grant us the grace to develop the courage, make the commitment, and persevere until victory becomes a reality in whatever we are trying to quit that is hindering us.
God bless you as you go through this day!