5 Good Reasons To Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting

Not Giving Up Might Be Your Best Decision

http://larryshankle.com/feel-like-quitting

When things in life get difficult, often quitting seems like the best option. You don’t know what to do or how to handle what life is throwing at you. When the pressure builds, the stakes are high, and everything is riding on your decision, you may feel like quitting. However, quitting too soon is never the best option.

Don’t get me wrong. It certainly seems like quitting is the best option. I mean think about the instant stress relief — The thing is, you know as well as I do that once you quit, you will instantly regret it.

You’ve struggled, prayed, planned and pursued the vision in your heart, or your purpose in life and quitting too soon isn’t going to be the relief you think it will be. When you give up and quit too soon, you have the tendency to look back and wonder how things might have been.

If you are like me, there have probably been moments when giving up seemed like the path to travel…perhaps you are at a crossroads right now. I can make you one promise that will prove true: When you look at life in the rearview mirror, you will wish you had not given up and quit.

Pressing to reach your vision will stretch you. At one time or another, you will probably feel like quitting. It will push your resources and mental capacity to the limit. Reaching a vision is never easy, in fact, it’s really hard. Stepping into the plan of God for your life is exciting, and it sets your heart on fire, but pursuing the God-given vision for your life will take all the hard work you have to give.

There is a God-given vision for every person’s life.

[clickToTweet tweet=”There is a God-given #vision for every person’s life. #Leadership #pastor #church ” quote=”There is a God-given vision for every person’s life. ” theme=”style2″]

Yours may be to:

◆    Build a more stable family dynamic in your home

◆    Strengthen your relationship with your spouse

◆    Pursue Ministry

◆    Provide outreach and compassion to hurting people around the world

◆    Simply to make ends meet financially

◆    Grow closer to God

Whatever your vision, no matter how big or how small, there will be moments when you feel like quitting. This post is, in fact, a follow-up to an article I wrote some time ago. In that article, I wrote about the top 5 times to keep going in life and not quit. You need to read it…it will help you. But I thought you might need to know more than the times not to quit; you need to know good reasons to keep going when you feel like quitting.

So let me give you five…

5 Good Reasons To Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting 

Quitting kills your potential

You are going to see a recurring theme among all five reasons I’m giving you. They all involve the word kill. It’s a strong word to use, I know, but you need to understand what really happens when you quit. Quitting always kills something in your life.

When you feel like quitting and then give in to that feeling, it kills your potential. Your potential gets stopped dead in its tracks. What might have been, will never be, once you make the choice to quit. If you quit on your marriage, what might have been will never be. If you make the decision to quit on God’s vision for your life, what might have been will never be.

Having potential means that something exists in possibility, so when you have potential, it means that something is capable of developing into reality. So, let me ask you a question: What possibilities are in your life right now that you’re willing to kill off just because you feel like quitting?

Quitting kills your confidence

You’ve probably quit things before…we all have. When you quit, did it make you fell better or worse? I guess it depends on the situation, but when you feel like quitting, chances are good that you are on the right path, you’re  just tired. Quitting, under those circumstances, will kill your future confidence. You will always wonder what might have happened if you had stuck it out just a little longer.

I remember starting a small blog back in 2005. The blogging movement was just getting started, and I wasn’t sure what to write about. Discouragement got the best of me, so…I quit. Every time I write a new post now, I wonder who my words might have reached if only I wouldn’t have given up and quit. You may feel like quitting but if you do your confidence will suffer for it.

Quitting kills your leadership

Now, some of you may not feel like this applies to you. But make no mistake about it, you are a leader. “Everyone leads someone,” is a belief that I’ve held on to for over two decades now. You don’t need me to draw out the implications of all your relationships. The fact is, you influence someone every single day. Even if you don’t think you lead anyone else, you are still responsible for leading yourself.

When you quit on your vision or give up in the heat of the moment, it destroys your credibility and trust with those who are watching you. Trust is essential to great leadership. You can’t influence people without it. If you feel like quitting, take a step back and think about the consequences of what you’re about to do. How will it affect your kids? How will it affect your marriage? How will it affect your ministry and relationship with God?

The truth is, when you quit, it gives those who are watching you the green light to quit also.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you quit, it gives those who are watching you the green light to quit also. #Leader #pastor ” quote=”The truth is, when you quit, it gives those who are watching you the green light to quit also. ” theme=”style2″]

Quitting kills your faith

You may not agree with me on this, but hear me out. First of all, I’m not talking about “salvation faith.” The message I’m trying to send is NOT that quitting on your vision or making the decision to give up will somehow affect your salvation. My point is every time you quit it erodes a little bit of your capacity to believe again in the future.

If you’ve ever taken a risk, or leap of faith, only to find yourself in a position where you had to scale back, let people go, or stop pursuing what you feel God put in your heart, then you understand what I’m saying. It’s a little bit harder to take the risk the second time around because your thoughts are skewed by the fact that you had to quit the last time.

Often when you feel like quitting, it’s NOT the time to stop. When you feel like quitting, it’s a good opportunity to seek some encouragement. Reach out to someone who has wisdom and perspective and seek their advice. Make sure that you have a solid support system in place to help you when your faith feels faint. Pray…get ahold of God…seek him…spend time with him…recharge your spiritual batteries. In fact, I wrote about the importance of seeking God in another post. 

Quitting kills your dream

Your dreams are too important to give up just because things are a little rough right now and you feel like quitting. DON’T DO IT! DON’T QUIT!

Your dream is your gift from God. It weaves itself into every part of your life. Your dream is what pushes you to get up in the morning and work hard. Are you honestly ready to throw in the towel? You feel like quitting right now, but the feeling will pass.

About a year ago (at the time of this post), I had back surgery. The pain was the most intense thing I’ver ever felt. It radiated down through my hip and seemed like someone was pulling my right leg off of my body. There were bone fragments trapped behind a nerve, tearing and cutting at it. I felt like quitting. The dreams I had for my life seemed gone for a little while. There were some days during my recovery when I wondered if I would be able to continue my ministry (I’m a pastor). When I look in the rearview mirror of life, I’m so glad I didn’t quit, because today my dream feels stronger than ever.

At some point, you will feel like quitting. Your dream will be too difficult, too big, too unattainable or too uncomfortable. You won’t know what to do, and life will seem uncertain. In those moments when you feel like quitting, take a step back and reassess why you started in the first place.

You probably didn’t start chasing your dream because it was easy. You chase your dream because the outcome is worth the fight. 

[clickToTweet tweet=”You chase your #dream because the outcome is worth the fight. #pastor #faith #leadership” quote=”You chase your dream because the outcome is worth the fight. ” theme=”style2″]

So what about you? What are your reasons for not quitting? I would love to hear what keeps you going when life is hardest.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

If your faith needs a kickstart, join my 5 Day Faith Building Challenge below.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

Why is seeking God important?

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for

It seems that everyone is looking for a magic key that will help them unlock all the things they need or want for their life. If you have lived for very long, you know that no such key exists.

Hard work and effort are rewarded. If you work hard and strive to put in your best effort, most of the time you will be rewarded for your effort. This isn’t always true, but it works most of the time.

The Bible says that we reap what we sow. This principle of sowing and reaping is something that we should take into account as we make our decisions. The reason is simple: What you do plants a seed that comes back to you.

However, we still long for an edge in life…a secret that will take us further faster. It is the quest for a magic key.

  • Everyone wants to ease the stress-load they carry, so they seek a magic key.
  • Everyone wants to make life easier, so they seek a magic key.
  • Everyone wants to have a better life, so they seek a magic key.

I’ve observed this in all kinds of people over the years.

What I’m about to show you is not a magic key, but it is a key secret to living the life you were created to live. What is the key secret? Seeking God.

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

It seems that Christians don’t want to hear this statement anymore. We had rather pursue the latest and greatest advice from an “expert.” Life, we assume, would be better and easier if everything was simply “done for you.”

What If you never had to make a hard choice, and all the stress you feel could just disappear? What if you could simply avoid failure, and you never had to worry about the direction your life was going? Wouldn’t it be nice to live like that?

What believers once understood as the most important thing in our spiritual arsenal, has now been relegated to the spiritual storage room.

However, I will say again: Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

The truth is, seeking God still works…

  • If you want to live the life God designed for you to live, you need to seek God. 
  • If you want to go forward and find the peace that you long for, you need to seek God. 
  • If you want to make a difference in your life, you need to seek God.

This spiritual action of seeking God is the key to nearly everything in life. Some people have such trouble with being obedient and faithful to God. They are in the boat one minute and out of it the next. There’s a reason for that; they are living life from the standpoint of their own strength and effort.

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for. It is the secret to a life well-lived. Why? Because, when you seek God, several powerful actions take place.

Why is seeking God important?

  1. You begin to draw near to God. James 4:8
  2. God draws near to you. James 4:8
  3. Your mind becomes aware of God’s presence. Acts 17:28
  4. You start gaining clarity because of God’s promptings. Acts 15:28
  5. A sense of direction and mission envelope you. Acts 4:20
  6. You feel peace, security, God’s love, and acceptance. Philippians 4:7 | Romans 8:37-39

Any one of these things are important, but having all six is life-changing. I hear some believers talk about how you should not seek to have the best life possible like somehow it is wrong to want your life to be good. But come on, I don’t know anyone who wants their life to be the worst life possible, do you? NO.

If seeking God not only brings me closer to him but also leads me to the life he designed me to live, then I am going to seek God for BOTH reasons! 

Now, someone may be asking the question: What does it mean to seek God?

The action of seeking God is simply this: Pursuing God’s desires instead of your own while talking to him and getting to know him better.

Learning to seek God is not hard.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Learning to #SeekGod is not hard. #Faith #Jesus #Prayer” quote=”Learning to seek God is not hard. ” theme=”style3″]

Some super-spiritual types would lead you to believe that seeking God is a painful process that requires long hours and quitting everything in life that you enjoy. However, this is NOT TRUE.

Seeking God brings joy into your life. If you end up spending hours in the presence of God, it will be because you want to, not because you have to. When you seek God, you build a relationship with him. Humans are created for relationships, so building one with God will come naturally. Any relationship with God that doesn’t feel completely natural is something that’s taking you down the wrong path.

Every relationship involves give and take. It is no different in your relationship with God. He wants you to enjoy being with him and hearing from him. I’ve seen people who run from seeking God because they are so afraid of what he might ask of them, that they run from the very thing that would set them free.

Listen: God has your best interests in mind. He wants what is good for you, and he has a desire to bring great joy into your life.

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

If joy, peace, security, freedom from fear, and acceptance sounds like something you want and need, I want you to know; you can have them.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A relationship with #God that doesn’t feel natural is one that’s taking you down the wrong path.” quote=” Any relationship with God that doesn’t feel completely natural is something that’s taking you down the wrong path.” theme=”style3″]

Here’s what you need to do you to do this week:

  1. Start talking to God. Talk to him like a real person. Don’t think of it as prayer time. Instead, think of your prayers as communicating with your best friend.
  2. Read examples of prayer in the Bible. The book of Psalms is one of the best places I know to start looking for prayer examples. Once you see how other people have communicated with God, you can do the same.
  3. Share your secret desires with God. What is it that you want out of life? Tell God. What are you sad, upset, or encouraged about? Tell God. What is the one thing you hope beyond hope will work out? Tell God. As you let God in on your secret desires, he will open up your mind to see even greater possibilities.

If there is a magic key, seeking God is the closest thing to it. Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

Giving Up On Your Dream: 25 Questions To Ask Before You Do

http://larryshankle.com/giving-up-on-your-dream

So, you are thinking of giving up on your dream.
How long have you been waiting on God to bring your dream into reality? Some of you have been waiting weeks, months, and in many cases, years. You want to experience God do the impossible in your life. You’ve cried about your situation and longed for something to break open in what seems to be a dead, dormant, and dried up dream.

What do you do at this point?
You are thinking of giving up on your dream

If you have ever argued with yourself about the validity of your dream, you’re not alone. You are in the company of great people. Almost every single person I can think of from Scripture who God spoke to about great things happening in their life, had doubt.

They couldn’t see it happening. Oh, they wanted it to happen. They prayed that it would happen, but they could not “see” it. Giving up on your dream feels like the most difficult thing in the world, yet at the same time, it seems like a welcome relief to just release the pressure of believing for something that has yet to come to fruition.

The greatest barrier to your dream is a lack of faith. Not the sort of faith that it takes to believe God is real, but the kind of faith that continues to “see” the unseeable.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Giving up on your #dream will immediately stop God’s hand in your life. #faith #TrustGod” quote=”Giving up on your dream will immediately stop God’s hand in your life.” theme=”style3″]

You must be able to see the dream before you can reach the dream, and even if you achieve your dream, you still have to keep on “seeing” the dream in your heart.

Dreams are fragile. They don’t take root very quickly. Dreams need constant work and attention, and frankly, giving up on your dream might feel like the best route. But don’t. You will regret it. I promise you.

If you don’t feel like God is coming through anytime soon, I can relate. For many years my wife and I wanted children. We tried all we knew, but nothing happened. In fact, we went to doctors, spent all the money we could afford to pay, and still nothing.

Now, if you have a dream that you believe is from God, you are going to relate to what I’m about to say…Doesn’t it make you mad when you see others who have the same or a similar dream as you, and everything just works out for them? Don’t you get a little angry that things happened so effortlessly for them when you’ve been struggling to believe, trying all you know, and holding on to hope?

It isn’t that you want bad for them, not at all. You just want your dream too. You want God to show up in the middle of your pain and make the difference that you know he can make. This God who created the universe can make your dream come true whenever he wants to, and you know it. So when you see someone grab hold of their dream or their promise from God, you are happy for them. However, inside your heart, there is also a sense of resentment.

You want it too.

My wife and I prayed to have children for fourteen years…fourteen. That is a long time when you are living it. I finally came to the thought that maybe children and a family were something we weren’t supposed to have.

My wife and I are pastors, so we would continue to love God and celebrate all the other people who easily had children. We would cheer them on and be glad for them, but as for us, it just wasn’t the will of God. My dream began to die.

Now, let me say that along the way God stirred my spirit many, many times and reminded me of a promise he had given me years earlier. See, probably a decade earlier, God made me a clear promise. In fact, he made me four separate promises.

Some of you may not believe that God still speaks…sorry if you don’t. God does speak. He spoke to me. Not in an audible voice, but in my mind and my heart. I will never forget the day that I prayed about several very pressing wants and needs, and all of a sudden, God showed up.

Among the four promises God made to me that day was the promise that my wife and I would have children. You don’t know how many times over the years I’ve felt like Abraham (if you don’t know the story, read Genesis chapter 15). After around a decade of holding on to hope, it seemed that maybe the promise wasn’t true for us after all.

However, I couldn’t let go of it. Why? Because God had already miraculously came through on two of the four promises he made to me. They were also impossibilities, but nevertheless, God did it. Deep inside I knew God had something in store. Giving up on your dream will immediately stop God’s hand in your life. Keep believing even when it looks impossible.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Keep believing even when it looks impossible. #faith #Motivation #Jesus” quote=”Keep believing even when it looks impossible.” theme=”style3″]

God began to move our heart toward adoption. This is something I had never considered. I was even hesitant at first, but the Lord began to open up my heart to the possibility that adoption was his plan for our family.

We began our classes, got our home approved, went through the struggles and heartaches that come with the journey of adoption, and in the end, God came through miraculously again.

We adopted two of the most amazing boys that ever came into the world. When the cases closed and everything was final, it’s as if I could hear God say, “told you so.” He had given a dream, placed a vision, stirred an expectancy in my heart, and he had come through on it.

You have to hear my heart today: Don’t. Give. Up.
Giving up on your dream will be the worst mistake you ever make.

Things may not seem like they are working for you AT ALL. In fact, it might look like your situation is unraveling at the seams, but don’t give up. What I’ve come to realize over the years is that God works in the background of your life. He orchestrates situations and turns your heart. God directs your steps even when it feels like he is a million miles away, but in the end, you can know that he will come through for you.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Giving up on your #dream will be the worst #mistake you ever make. #HaveFaith #Jesus” quote=”Giving up on your dream will be the worst mistake you ever make.” theme=”style3″]

Most people have a dream, but they give up too soon, or they let their faith slump into a place where their dream feels unattainable and impossible. That may describe you today, but even in your doubt, God can still work. See, just because you give up on yourself, doesn’t mean that God has given up on you. Your dream is really his dream for you. Giving up on your dream is giving up on God’s dream for your life.

The greatest barrier to your dream is a lack of faith, but faith can be built! I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on the dream of having a family. So many times it would have been easy to do so, but my wife and I would never have had the opportunity to love and raise our amazing boys.

Now, if you are tracking along with me, you will know that I have mentioned three out of four promises God came through on. So what about the fourth one? I’m still waiting. Over a decade later, I’m still waiting. In fact, at the moment my doubts have looked bigger than the promise. However, I’ve noticed the same stirring beginning to happen in my spirit. God is moving. There is an encounter coming. God is about to come through on the promise. I can feel it.

But what about you? Are you giving up on your dream too soon?

Giving Up On Your Dream: 25 Questions To Ask Before You Do

Click here to get the PDF list of 25 Questions

I’m going to divide these questions up into five categories to help you use them more efficiently. I encourage you to go through these questions prayerfully…really answer them. Knowing the answers is not a guarantee that you will reach your dream, but rather they help you focus and understand yourself more in the process. The twenty-five questions are just designed to make you think. Ask God to open up your mind as your answer each one.

Heart

  1. Do you feel this dream is from God? (This is the most basic question you need to answer.)
  2. Are you willing to love God no matter the outcome of this dream?
  3. How often do you pray about this dream? (Not just wish and hope, but pray)
  4. Do you feel reaching this dream will fulfill part of God’s plan in your life?
  5. In what ways will you prepare your heart to go forward on your dream?

Soul

  1. Will giving up on your dream make your emotional state better or worse?
  2. Do you have the willpower to see this dream through to fulfillment?
  3. Is it possible that the reason you’ve thought of giving up on your dream is that you are afraid you will actually achieve it?
  4. How bad will you regret giving up on your dream?
  5. In what ways will you prepare your will and emotions to go forward on your dream?

Mind

  1. Can you “see” your dream in your mind?
  2. Are you able to visualize with detail and clarity, the way it will feel to reach your dream?
  3. Does your mind often gravitate to your dream, to the point that you think of it constantly?
  4. How would giving up on your dream make your mental state better? (If it wouldn’t, that may be a clear indicator to keep pursuing and believing.)
  5. In what ways can you prepare your mind to keep on believing?

Strength

  1. Are you prepared to keep believing for your dream, no matter what people think of you?
  2. Do you have a spiritual plan in place to give you strength and stamina? (You need a solid spiritual plan in place to continue pursuing your God-given dream. If you don’t have one, you are likely to give up.)
  3. Will you commit to praying about your dream daily?
  4. Do you have unforgiveness in your heart towards anyone? (If “yes,” then you need to forgive them immediately. Nothing stops your potential to reach a dream quicker than harboring this festering seed in your life.)
  5. In what ways can you prepare yourself to gain spiritual strength to achieve your dream?

Legacy

  1. Will you regret giving up on your dream?
  2. Are you spiritually able to move past it if you give up?
  3. How will you feel at the end of your life after giving up on your dream?
  4. Can you comprehend the reality of NOT living in your dream?
  5. What if the fulfillment of your dream were to happen tomorrow? How would you feel knowing that you gave up one day too soon?

I think we all realize that there comes a point in which letting go of a dream is the best option, but personally, I believe giving up should be the last option.

When it comes to my dream, my declaration and determination is to fight until there is only one man standing…and I intend to be that man.

[clickToTweet tweet=”I will fight for my dreams until there is one man standing and I will be that man. #faith #Jesus” quote=”I will fight for my dreams until there is one man standing and I will be that man.” theme=”style3″]

What about you?
What is your determination?

God has come through for me too many times for me to give up on my dreams now.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

Concealed Carry: 5 Ways Faith Is Similar To Concealed Carry

Faith & The Outdoors Issue #2

http://larryshankle.com/concealed-carry/

I’ve been interested in getting my concealed carry license for quite some time now. Many people that I consider close friends have their permit and carry their weapons regularly.

There are many different views on this topic, and admittedly, it’s a hot one. Some people are dead set against concealed carry. They don’t understand why someone…anyone…would want to wear a gun.

Being raised in the south, I have an entirely different opinion. I was raised around guns and gun ownership. Some of the best memories from my teenage years were coming home from school in the afternoon and immediately going outside to target practice.
I’ve put more holes in tin cans than I could ever remember. Shooting, for me, was a relaxing sport that I could enjoy outdoors. Since I love getting alone by myself to think, shooting my guns offered me a reason to get outside and think. Every week I mowed the yard to make a little extra money to purchase more ammunition.

Many of you grew up the same way I did. You understand and respect guns. You know their joy and their force. The opportunity to get your concealed carry permit, means you can feel a sense of protection; not so much for yourself, but for those you love. You want to protect them.

As a believer, there are several similarities between your faith in God and the concealed carry of a weapon.

Five ways faith is similar to concealed carry

You have spiritual weapons at your disposal.

Here’s what the Bible says about your spiritual weapons:

2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

As a believer, you possess spiritual weapons that have the power to help you overcome every stronghold in your life. They live inside you. These weapons conceal themselves in your heart until you need them.
When you face difficulties and circumstances, you can unholster your weapons and use them to defeat your situations. God gives you this concealed carry permit, so determine to use it the next time you have a struggle.

You have a power that lives inside of you.

Isaiah 40:29 NLTse
29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

When you trust in God, he will empower you. God’s power lives concealed inside of your heart. Through faith, you use the power of God to overcome every obstacle you face. Even though you might not feel empowered, you are. God has given you everything you need to live a life of victory.

You have the ability to be safe and secure, no matter your environment.

Isaiah 54:17 NKJV
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.

When Jesus is the Lord of your life, you are safe and secure. There is no reason to fear any weapons of the enemy or difficulties of the world. God is your protector. You can have peace in your heart no matter the circumstances you might be in at the moment.

You have something that many people refuse to see the need for.

Just like some people don’t understand the need for a concealed carry permit, many also don’t see the need to have faith in God. They don’t realize all the benefits that a relationship with God will provide, but believe me; there are awesome benefits for every believer.

Here’s what the Bible says about benefits:

Psalm 103:2–6 NKJV
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.

You don’t have to reveal what you’ve got, people will see it in you and on you.

If you have a concealed carry permit, it is unlikely that you are going to promote the fact of it to everyone you meet; but this is where being a Christian differs. You don’t have to tell everyone that you are a believer. Why? Because they will be able to SEE the difference in your life. Christians can’t help but show the love of God because they’ve been changed.

Don’t try to conceal your Christianity. Let it show for the world to see because they desperately need what you’re packing!

Other Issues of Faith & The Outdoors:

3 Powerful Secrets You Can Learn From Bowhunting

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

Perfectionist: Quit Trying To Be Perfect

Three Thoughts To Help You Conquer Your Pursuit Of Perfection

Perfectionist, there is no such thing as perfect.

Often we are tempted to look at other people and compare our self to them. Their glaring weaknesses are never what show up in our thoughts, but rather we see all the spectacular wins and successes they seem to acquire.
Perfection gets even more elusive when you couple it with a comparison. However, today I want you to know that there is a freedom you can live in…Freedom from being perfect.

You were never perfect, to begin with. Your flaws and mistakes are absolutely part of you, but in Jesus, all of those qualities disappear. God covers you with the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, and you become a new person.

I know you probably remember the verse I am about to quote, but I ask you to please read it again with fresh eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Perfectionism has to bow to the new life found in Jesus Christ. The person you never thought you could live up to being, the one with perfectionist tendencies, is dead, and a brand new person had breathed in the breath of life when you became a Christian. Jesus takes away the old and brings in the new, and thank God for it.

The key to winning your battle with perfectionism is to stay in Christ. You have to keep yourself rooted and grounded in him. Don’t slip away from your relationship with him.
The most valuable qualities you will ever possess, find their way to the surface through your relationship with Jesus. He recreates you and forms you into the person you were created to be in the first place, and it is not a perfectionist.
It is likely that when you think of yourself, you think of the imperfections and all the qualities about yourself that you do not like. However, if you are a Christian, I am asking you to stop thinking about yourself and set your eyes on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith, and he can build up a new set of qualities in your life based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Here are a couple of things a perfectionist should think about this week:

1.) Perfection is not possible so quit striving for it.

Humans are flawed. We make mistakes. We fall short of the goal. Jesus came to span the space between YOUR best effort and God’s creative power and purpose in your life. You cannot get there on your own. It will require the power of God in your life. Quit trying to be a perfectionist and start living a simpler life by following God’s path.

2.) God never expected perfection from you in the first place.

Even though you are a perfectionist, God knows you are not perfect. He understands your weaknesses. He sees when you put forth your best effort, even though your effort cannot reach the goal line. However, unlike the world, God does not expect you to be perfect. In fact, he knows you cannot be.
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You are clothed with perfection when you put on Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. Perfection is not something you can be; it is something you put on. You put on the perfection of Jesus. You live in him and walk in him with the complete understanding that he never sinned and never made a mistake. You allow him to guide and direct your life. When you do these simple things, the pressure leaves, and peace starts to grow in your heart and mind.

3.) Getting to the goal line in life takes one simple quality. Faithfulness.

One time Jesus spoke a parable about money. In the parable, he compared the efforts of those who had received a degree of money to manage. Those who had received the money were expected to show effort and try to increase it through wise investments.
One of the money managers was afraid. He thought he would lose the money his master gave him if he invested it. So he just hid it in the ground. At least he would not lose it, right? Wrong.
When the master returned from his journey and inquired with each money manager, he found that the first two men had increased his money through wise investments, but when he came to the third, the master was angry because the man had no effort to show. What the master said is eye-opening: “You should have at least put my money in the bank so it could gain some interest.” (paraphrase)
Listen, banks do not provide excellent interest. The master was not looking to become wealthy from the effort of those he put in charge of his money. The master was already rich. He was giving his men a test of FAITHFULNESS. What would these men decide to DO with the opportunity they had received? Their faithfulness was the quality being tested, not their skill.
The master was only looking for faithfulness. Listen to what he said to those who put forth effort:

Matthew 25:21 NKJV – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Well done.

Who had done well? The ones who were faithful.

He called them “good” and “faithful.” They were not good because of what they did. They were good because they were the master’s servants. However, faithfulness was THEIR choice. They chose to be faithful in the little things, and because of their choice, the master was pleased.
God is not looking for perfection from you. He is looking for faithfulness. Quit being a perfectionist. God would much rather have a person who makes mistakes, admits them, and receives guidance or forgiveness, than an individual who strives for a perfection they can never reach on their own.
What will you be? Perfect or faithful? Perfection on your own merits is an illusion, but you can choose to be faithful.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc