Sometimes I give up too soon.
It started with math class in high school. I would try to work my way through a problem, get stuck halfway through, and throw my hands up in the air, frustrated. High school math (pre-calculus) was the first time I ever really struggled academically.
Did I have a predisposition to be worse at math than my classmates?
But instead of using the struggle to motivate me and make me better, I assumed it meant the struggle wasn’t worth engaging.
After all. I’m never going to be a mathematician. Am I?
I can think of a dozen other times I made similar decisions. I gave up on a friendship because I just couldn’t seem to make it work. I gave up on getting my point across because, well, I explained it once and “you just must not be a good listener.” I gave up on getting a job I wanted because I was lacking some necessary skills, and “It’s a tough market out there!”
But did I give up too soon?
I think sometimes we even Christianize giving up. We encounter an obstacle in our path and we tell ourselves something like, “Yeah, I tried that, but God closed the door. He must not have meant for me to go that way.”
I’ve done this so many times.
Now I wonder — what if He did mean for me to go that way? What if He knew all along about the struggle I’d face? What if He could have used it for learning, growth, and creativity?
Overcoming obstacles makes us better.
If we give up every time we face an obstacle — if we see challenges as “closed doors” — we’ll never get anywhere.
I’m not saying it’s never a good idea to “give up” on something. Sometimes walking away is the best and healthiest thing we can do.
I’m just saying that, when it comes to giving up, “I can’t do it” isn’t usually a good answer.
We’re usually stronger than we think we are.
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