Should I Stay or Should I Go?
In the Spring of
Pastor Dale grabbed a book which was already on his desk. As he opened it, I saw highlighted and underlined sections as well as notes in the margins. In his booming voice, the man of God
Pastor Dale gave me a copy of the book when our meeting was finished. Since reading it, I’ve learned leaving a situation and entering a new one is a regular occurrence in life (for some of us more than others!). Navigating transitions well leads to great things, so we don’t have to keep learning from the same old mistakes. In chapter 6 of his book, Ed Cole shares some principles we can keep in mind to help navigate change in a healthy and Godly way.
The Process of Leaving and Entering Well
The God-given pattern of entering and leaving has ten steps that can help pull you through the crisis of change. If you have just left a job, were
fired, resigned, left a church or ministry, broke an engagement, started a new career, found the one to marry, moved to another city, started college or found yourself in a different situation, you can do these steps. Do them in every succeeding stage of your life to help make your adjustments smooth.
1. Realize that crisis is normal.
The first thing you need to understand is that crisis is normal to
God is bringing you out of a temporary state to take you into a higher, more permanent state of living.
2. Follow the Lord’s pattern: Forgive.
Forgiveness is always a gift. Forgiveness can never be earned.
It can only be given as is God’s forgiveness to us.
3. Admit that God is your source.
Recognize that if you have committed your life to Christ, He–not man–is in control of all you submit and commit to Him.
“The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” is a biblical truth.
4. Don’t panic.
When fired from a job, preparing for marriage or in any crisis, you need to ward off the stress that pressures you into
panic. Panic and productivity are opposites. Panic is always counterproductive.
5. Admit God’s sovereignty.
Admit the fact that God has the sovereign right to your life and He can overrule anything and everything in it.
God will work only with what we give Him. Give Him all the hurts, rejection, failure and humiliation, so He can turn them around.
6. Don’t limit God.
God is a creative God.
God puts no limits on faith. Faith puts no limits on God. God can create something out of what seems like nothing.
7. Humble yourself to obey God.
Some people cannot admit they are wrong, and others cannot stand to be
wronged. Both have difficulties serving God.
Humbling precedes blessing. “If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up.”
8. Trust God to vindicate you.
If dealt with unjustly at the time of leaving, don’t return evil for evil. When persecuted, don’t seek to retaliate. Rather, pray for those who mistreat you and trust God for your vindication.
No matter what happens, God is able to deal justly with our oppressors. If you try to vindicate yourself, you will do so at your own expense. Holding self in check, waiting on God, renews your strength and builds your character.
Don’t stop communicating, either with people or with God. Don’t cut yourself off by isolating yourself. Loneliness and isolation will only pervert your thinking. Keep your balance by continuing to interact normally while undergoing
In short, communicate everything to God but only what uplifts to others.
10. Act on principle.Edwin Louis Cole — Never Quit, excerpts from Chapter 6 “Steps to Entering and Leaving”
Do something! Do it in faith.
Get your guidance from principles of truth, not from
reactionto the feelings of the moment. Act on principles, not emotions.
God’s Word is your blueprint for success. Don’t be tossed to and fro by every whim, personality, feeling or fleeting thought that comes along. Steady yourself in the Word of God.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
If a circumstance you find yourself in is unhealthy or opposed to the values found in God’s Word, you can know you need an exit plan. But there are times where we just want a change and aren’t sure if it’s okay to make one.
In these situations, ask God to speak to you, and genuinely listen and expect Him to give you the direction you’re seeking. I’ve found if I’m patient, He will answer when I need Him to.
Other times, I realized He wanted me to make the choice with pure motivations in-line with Jesus’s character.
You can follow what you know He has said in His Word and previous directions, considering the calling He’s placed on your life, as well as the cry of your heart toward the gifts and passions He’s given you. Trust His Spirit to guide you even when you don’t recognize His leading—as well as to course correct if you go astray.
Following Him in this way, as well as His gentle whispers, will always answer that, “Should I stay or should I go,” question. If you’re thrown into the crisis of change, or when it’s time to make a decision, remember the principles above. I highly recommend getting Edwin Louis Cole’s book Never Quit by clicking HERE!
Change Communication Crisis Ed Cole Entering Forgiveness God speaks Humility Leadership Listening Perseverance Prayer Principle Quitting Seeking God Sovereignty Stay Vindication Wise Counsel
So incredibly important – learning how to part ways in a healthy manner – takes maturity for sure!
Thankfully life gives us lots of practice to learn and grow in each of these principles. Maturity in this area will come if we recognize the hard parts of leaving and entering and then invite God to help us grow where we are weak. Thanks, Andrea!