Recently, I was completing an online training class at Bank of America (where I work)and I accidentally clicked “Exit” rather than “Next”. Immediately, the training ended! Luckily, with the click of a button, the training launched again, taking me right back to where I left off. This simple online application made me think about broader examples in my life – times when I should choose to “exit” rather than moving forward; or alternatively, how often I should click “next” rather than exiting. Some examples that came to mind:
1. Rather than continuing to harbor on an issue when the point has been made – EXIT.
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2 (ESV)
2. Rather than engaging in gossip – EXIT.
Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:16
3. Rather than continuing to push myself when I’m at the point of diminishing return – EXIT.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2
4. Rather than starting a quarrel by speaking my mind – EXIT.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14
Alternatively, times when I should push forward and not exit:
1. When the task or the call seems impossible, trust that God is the way – NEXT.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
2.When loving is hard because I feel resentful and want my own way, love anyway – NEXT.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
3. When the intensity of the hurt makes it seem impossible to forgive, forgive anyway – NEXT.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21
4. When the busyness of life makes helping others seem like a bottleneck in my plans, help anyway – NEXT.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Hebrews 13:16
I think you get the picture. Every day we make the choice to persist or desist. Some of these choices are minor – like whether we continue eating or stop. Others are major – like running a red light instead of stopping. How do we know which path is correct? Psalm 119:105 gives us the answer:
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Being in God’s word and abiding in Him is the only way we can truly know which way is right. When we’re there, the Holy Spirit will prompt us and God will bring scripture verses to mind to direct us. Now I just need to make time to be in the “word” as much as I’m in the “world” – with the “world” being Facebook, Magazines, etc. Good luck to you on doing the same!
Thanks so much for sharing Jill!
Gosh I am certainly convicted by the verse about getting up early and staying up late worrying about things – it really is all in vain. Instead of worrying, I should surrender my anxieties to God and he will give me rest!
I also am struck by Jill’s point to take time to help others even when I am busy. I have a packed week with several work deadlines, but God still calls me to sacrifice my time to help a friend. I think that “busyness” often leads to selfishness.
How about you? What areas in your life do you feel God prompting you to “exit”? What areas do you need to move on with and say “next”? Love to hear from you in the comments below.