I have had the privilege of knowing some incredible people that I look up to as real examples of heroes in my life- people who have encountered struggles of many kind including health challenges, financial setbacks and family crises, yet have not quit on their vision but have gone on to impact and empower many others to overcome. These people have influenced hundreds and thousands (and some even hundreds of thousands) of others to not just have a dream and a purpose for life, but to share from their own experiences and failures, and apply daily practices and disciplines of what it takes for that dream and purpose to be fulfilled. Because of their example and influence in my life, I am a better person today and an overcomer of things that should have held me back. Most people look at those who have done great things, whether it be achieve a high level of success in business, minister to countless people on the mission field, raise a large family with children who grow as successful adults, become a top or even Olympic athlete, or whatever else…(fill in the blank) and they think somehow those people are smarter, more charismatic, or just plain luckier. The truth is that is NOT the truth!
It isn’t that people who have accomplished huge achievements are more special than others or that they haven’t had tremendous setbacks or even what would look like failure..the difference is they don’t quit and stop at the temporary set back or failure. They use that to get back up and learn from it. My husband shared something so powerful during one of his recent messages. He said “Quitting is the enemy’s key strategy to keeping us from achieving God’s full destiny for our lives and it begins with discouragement. No one starts something planning to quit and quitting doesn’t come suddenly. Rather it comes with one small decision at a time, eventually moving us away and into isolation from the very thing we are called to.”
Having worked alongside my husband both in business and ministry for many years now, we have had the blessing to empower and mentor those who have the courage to have a dream and set goals towards that dream, and then ask for accountability to support them in the accomplishing of it. It is an interesting thing to observe but undoubtedly true: everyone starts with the same desire to win and everyone ultimately will face challenges along the way. What I have noticed is that the ones who make excuses for why they aren’t finishing the race are the ones who never accomplish their goals and ultimately, their dream – they start with a ‘bang’ but then go on to something else never knowing the exhilaration and satisfaction of having overcome the obstacles. Most of these obstacles are things inside of us that we have to face – discouragement, fear, lack of confidence, and mainly the throwback position called ‘quitting’!
The truth is quitting comes through one excuse after the next. Here are some excuses we have heard over the years: “You don’t understand, I’m just super busy with other things; I’m too young – it’s older people that can do this; I’m too old – I don’t have the energy I used to; my kids are my priority (as if mine aren’t); I don’t have time; my wife doesn’t support me; my husband doesn’t understand my dream; I don’t have enough money to succeed; I’m just not the kind of person that can do this; I don’t have the same giftings you do; God has called me somewhere else (He changed His mind from last month); God isn’t giving me favor in this area – ever notice how much God gets the blame for our own lack of overcoming? Yet, He promises that those who overcome, He will give authority over the nations, but the choice is ours as to how we deal with the temptation to quit. After all how can you know what it is to overcome if you don’t have trials? How can you know what it is to really experience victory if you don’t know defeat at times?
Even as I write this, I am faced with quitting because I finished the complete draft twice and attempted to post it only to have lost 3/4 of it. My first inclination is to just say ‘forget it! I’ve written this now twice before and it just isn’t working! I’m tired and I don’t think it’s worth all of this effort.’ Then I come up with all kinds of excuses such as ‘I hate this program on my computer; I’m not computer savvy enough; I don’t have time for this; etc.’ But I am committed to pressing through in hopes that this message will reach even a few of you who are reading so that you will not quit on your dream and your future!
I love what Dani Johnsen teaches: “There are two types of people in this world. Unfortunately, 98% of the population fluently speaks in the language of excuses. They let simple barriers stop them from progressing or moving forward. The other type of people, the 2%, see the barrier and find a solution around it.
It’s almost like the 98% are looking for a reason not to succeed. I really believe that. Whether your barrier is not having enough money, being unemployed, having a stagnant business, dealing with kids who misbehave, reporting to a boss who doesn’t see how hard you work, existing with coworkers you don’t get along with, or struggling in your relationships, if you choose today to look for a solution to overcome that barrier, you will find it.”
The truth is that excuses are the face of pride and ego…it is our pride and ego that wants to excuse away our failures and challenges instead of facing what we need to do to change. I want to encourage you to not be a 98%er but to go for the 2% of those who dare to believe and then back it with overcoming faith. What good is faith when everything is going the right and easy way? We MUST draw on faith when we desperately need it!! It is God Himself who gives us every good and perfect gift from above! What do you think those gifts are for?? To give you a future and a hope and a destiny that is uniquely designed for you, potentially affecting more people than you could count! If your dream is big enough and affects those you love for a positive future, then it is worth you pressing through to the end and not quitting!
Remember, “He who began a good work in you, shall complete it until the day of Messiah Jesus.” Phil 1:6