We all know we should quit our bad habits right now. This very second. Or maybe yesterday. But what about the good things we are doing? Is there ever a time we should quit doing those?
4 Excellent Reasons to Quit Doing Something Good
1. When there is something better you can do.
"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best." Buying your children an audio drama is good, giving them a book is better, but reading them a book is probably best. Feeding your children a meal of almost any sort is a good thing to do, feeding them a home-cooked meal is better, but feeding them a healthy home-cooked meal is the best. Reading in general is usually a good thing to do. Maybe you are reading the latest and greatest Christian book-of-the-year. That's an even better thing. But have you read your Bible yet today? That would be best. Quit the good things you are doing in order to give attention to something better.
2. When it is a job that never ends.
I believe in housework. I do it regularly. But it really never ends. So there comes a time every day when I have to say, "My work is not yet finished--but I am." Even when you are doing the best of all jobs, you must sometimes quit in order to take care of your other responsibilities. My husband and I have a dear friend who bungled his wedding night because he was downstairs in the hotel lobby witnessing to the guy at the front desk instead of romancing his new bride. They can laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn't funny. As he said later, soul-winning and evangelism will never end, but there comes a point when another responsibility should kick in.
3. When someone else should be doing it.
When person A is reluctantly and with great frustration attempting to do a job that person B could whiz through with delight and joy, person A might be robbing person B. Are you ever persisting in a job that isn't really yours to do? God has equipped us all differently. Maybe you are a wonderful cook but a terrible nursery worker. You should probably bypass the playland of diapers, diggers, and dolls, and go directly to the church kitchen. Likely, there is someone else serving in the kitchen who views it as pure drudgery and is eyeing the nursery door with longing. Don't rob her. Occasionally we are called upon to serve self-sacrificially at things we don't enjoy, but normally we should be magnifying the gifts and skills God has already given us.
4. When the Holy Spirit tells you to stop.
I remember distinctly one morning when I was cleaning my upstairs and the Holy Spirit suggested quietly that I should stop what I was currently doing and go clean my living room. How glad I was that I listened to that still, small voice when an hour later I heard a knock on my front door. I could warmly welcome my guests into our home without panicking over the state of the living room. But there have been other times when I heard His voice and didn't obey immediately, only to regret it later. If you are walking with the Lord, He will speak to you about even the small things of life.
Is there anything in your life right now that you need to quit doing?
MORE ON PRODUCTIVITY:
Does submitting to your husband ever scare you with its frightening consequences?
My husband has never asked me to do anything that was sinful. But he has asked me many times to do things--or to let my children do things--that were frightening to me.
There have been smaller frightening things too.
The list goes on and on. So many things frighten me because--like you--I relish control and those are things I have little or no control over.
When my kids were smaller, one of their favorite things to do was play "mattress" with Daddy. All four little bodies would scramble onto a twin-size mattress on the hardwood floor and then he would wrench it from side to side while they tried to keep their balance. It sounds so mild when I describe it. But--really?--four little bodies on one slip-sliding mattress? There were giggles and screams and howls and owies every time, but the screaming would always dissolve into pleas of "More, Daddy, please?"
And I couldn't handle it.
Every time I watched it, I was sure that we would lose a child.
It got so bad that they would make me leave the room (and preferably the house) before they would start their little game.
Okay, so now you know the dirty truth: I'm a worrier. I can't help it. My mind is flagrantly creative, imagining horrific results to a hundred different ifs in any given situation. And it doesn't like to keep to paths of light and sanity and reality. No, it likes to venture into dismal valleys of fear and meander around, gaping at the fearsome scenery.
Which is exactly why I need I Peter 3:6.
It took me years to understand why that verse was there and what it means.
I understood the submission in verse 1, the respect in verse 2, the whole concept of adorning in verses 3 and 4, and the hop back to submission in verse 5. (I may not adequately live it, but I understand it and do my best.) But then in verse 6, out of nowhere, we bump into a whole new topic that is seemingly unrelated: fear.
Which left me scratching my head in puzzlement for a long time, until one day I realized that "not be afraid with any amazement" could also be translated as "do not fear anything that is frightening."
Suddenly it clicked.
How many times was submission challenging to me, not because I didn't love my husband and respect him, but simply because I was afraid of the possible result of submission?
You know those moments when God opens your eyes and gives you a whole new perspective on life and (more particularly) your sin? That was one of those moments. Submitting to my husband when I was on board with his agenda was easy. The test of my submission was whether I would willingly submit when I feared something that was truly frightening.
And that was when I finally understood why Sarah was the posterchild of submission. Her husband asked her to do some really wild and wooly stuff. Abraham may have been a patriarch, but he was also a man and thus a sinner.
Try to imagine. . .
Many things happened to Sarah that could have frightened her.
In reading about Sarah's challenging life, I can see that many of my fears are, in comparison, shallow. (Not to mention, often far-fetched.)
But there was one other little gem of a verse that impacted me. While I tend to fret about the future, the godly woman of Proverbs 31 laughs at it (verse 25). The only fear in her heart is the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 31:30). Apparently, the fear of the Lord has the power to knock away all other fears.
When we as wives truly fear the Lord, we can live fearlessly, even when it comes to submission to our own husbands.
My goal, since I have come to understand these verses, has been to fear God and reverence my husband without fear of the results. In other words, "Fear fearlessly."
I fail often, but I live with that mission.
Does the thought of submitting to God or your husband scare you? Will you join me in trying to fear fearlessly?
More For Wives:
Laura Berrey and her husband Tim are missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association. They share a passion for missions which has taken them to several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They currently minister in the Philippines.