April 17, 2013

When Quitting is a Good Thing


Despite my efforts to discourage him, a robin continues to attack the sliding glass doors to our breezeway where we have many large houseplants. Either he wants to nest in one of our plants or he thinks his reflected image is a potential mate. Poor robin doesn't know when to quit. 

During World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill admonished the people of England to "Never give in - never, never, never, never ..." From an early age, we are taught that “Quitters never win,” and we are encouraged to persist even in the face of overwhelming odds.  

But there are times in our lives when quitting is the right thing to do. For example, when you quit harboring resentment because someone’s words or actions hurt you, that’s the right thing to do. While you fret and fume with bitterness because you were wounded, the other person is enjoying a round of golf. For your own mental health and happiness, it’s time to forgive.

In the prayer that Jesus taught us, we ask God to “forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Jesus, the Master Physician, knew that embracing compassion and forgiveness is healing, so if you are holding a grudge, quit. It’s the right thing to do.

My robin friend is still knocking at the glass door. Maybe it’s time for me to quit trying to stop him!