When you hear the word “quitter,” what do you picture? When you Google the word quitter and look at the images that come up, you will see two sides of the same coin.
Side #1 – Being a quitter is a bad thing!
It means you are not finishing what you start. It means you make promises that you don’t keep. It means you don’t reach the goals you set for yourself.
Side #2 – Being a quitter is a good thing!
It means you have fought and successfully overcome an addiction or mindset. It means you are looking ahead to brighter days without that addiction or mindset hanging on.
Unfortunately, I was brought up believing side #1 – being a quitter is a bad thing! I wouldn’t say anyone ever formally taught me this, it’s just a thought process that is deeply rooted in my mind.
Being a quitter = Being a failure
Anytime that I have started something and have not succeeded at it, I have convinced myself that it was because I was a quitter…a failure.
According to dictionary.com:
A quitter is “a person who quits or gives up easily, especially in the face of some difficulty, danger, etc.”
A failure is “a person or thing that proves unsuccessful”
Is my life defined by dictionary.com?
Or, is there a different “dictionary” that defines me?
I’ve been working my way through the book of Ruth and have seen the beauty of Side #2 shining through in the story.
In the book of Ruth, there is a lot of quitting going on. Just looking at chapter 1:
- Elimelech quits living in Bethlehem and moves to Moab when there is a famine (Ruth 1:1).
- Elimelech’s two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, quit following the principles of their Jewish faith by each marrying a pagan, Moabite woman (Ruth 1:4).
- Naomi quits living in Moab after her husband and sons all die (Ruth 1:6-7).
- Orpah, one of Naomi’s daughters-in-law, quits following Naomi back to Bethlehem when Naomi directs her to do so (Ruth 1:8-14).
- Ruth quits her pagan beliefs to claim Naomi’s God as her own (Ruth 1:16-17).
- Naomi quits being called Naomi which means pleasant to be called Mara which means bitter (Ruth 1:20-21).
But, the one that stands out as a shining example of quitting being a good thing is when Naomi quits being the victim who called herself Mara, and starts helping Ruth with Boaz, the man who ended up being their redeemer.
This is a turning point in the story, one that leads to Boaz purchasing Naomi’s land and marrying Ruth. It also leads to God blessing Boaz and Ruth with children and with becoming part of the lineage of Jesus Christ!
Ruth’s story has helped me truly see the beauty in quitting, the goodness in quitting, the grace of God that can come from quitting.
Lord, I thank You for never ceasing to show me new things from studying Your word and drawing near to You. I’m sure that I’ve read Ruth many times, but I’ve never seen the beautiful quitter that Naomi was before! Thank You for helping me see that Your goodness and blessing can come out of our trials if we will just draw near to You, just as Naomi did when she left the pagan country of Moab to return to Judah. Help me in my life to know when I need to be a quitter and when I need to keep pressing forward in Your strength. Continue changing my perspective so that quitting is no longer a supremely negative thing. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen!
I’d love to hear from you: What is it in your life that you need to quit? In what areas do you need to press forward and keep walking in God’s strength instead of quitting?