Defying The Urge To Quit: T.D. Jakes (Transcript)

Full text of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon titled “DEFYING THE URGE TO QUIT”.

Until you have had the taste of finishing, you will not respect yourself…

Until you follow through, until something is done, come hell or high water, tears and struggles and pain. And you go through it anyway, and you show up, and you continue to fight on and no matter the circumstances…

After a while, something begins to wither inside of you. 


Bishop T.D. Jakes:

Greetings Christian brothers and sisters! 

What a joy, what a delight it is to share the word of the Lord with you. Our series, ‘Rise Above’ is changing lives and I think you’re going to be blessed, as you arrive above the things that are holding you back.

God has so many things for you and yet there are times that I have to confess even in my own life, there’ve been times that ones throw up a hand to walk away from everything, they saw go crazy! It’s too much for me.

Listen, the message today is to defy the urge to quit

We all have them. We don’t talk about them but we have moments, where we feel I feel take me away. I’m sick of it. but, you have to fight that urge to quit. Because I always say you’ll win if you don’t quit. Take a look at this, it’ll bless your life.

What do you do when you have to be committed to something you can’t control? And they don’t do it like you want to do it. 

I quit. I went to work for a serious pain department as Assistant Manager in the Serious Pain department and the best thing about the job is that I was there a whole year. I had a big celebration at the end of the year. Because to be there a year after working every place else for three months was…

In the back of my mind, I was smart enough to know that though there may have been different things about different jobs that I had legitimate grievances about… that those legitimate grievances did not always require that I quit.

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And I was concerned. Because until you have had the taste of finishing, you will not respect yourself. Until you follow through until something is done, come hell or high water, tears and struggles and pain and you go through it anyway, and you show up and you continue to fight on, and no matter the circumstances. After a while, something begins to wither inside of you. 

“Love, Beareth all things.”

I haven’t been taught to take anything. I was a baby in my own family. My brothers just weren’t raised like this, but I was they – they did a hard time in prison camp. They were shocked when my mother came in by women said ‘Baby! What you want?’ 

I had not been nurtured to bear anything – to take anything. And being a man was hard work. Because I didn’t have anybody to show me. And it’s hard to be that you cannot see. 

See, some people quit because things are out of control. Nobody quits what you can control. But the moment you get in something where you don’t get your way, or you get reprimanded, or you get corrected or you go through this or you go through that, or you go through the other, or it’s bad conditions or bad circumstances. Then the first thing the immature mind says is “This is ridiculous. I quit.” 

And it’s a hard thing.

See! When you come to church, we’re always talking about sins in the flesh. Not being a whoremonger and coming out of adultery and stop life. We give those things so much space. That being a weakling in the spirit can go undetected. 

If you aren’t doing drive-by shootings and muggings you could pass for a Christian. And really you really get it done as long as you don’t do anything horrific. I mean, if you didn’t climb down a pole to come to church this morning, you can pass for a mother in Zion.

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And the truth of the matter, nobody will know that you can be well as it relates to visible sins. The Bible calls them ‘Sins of the Spirit’. That the Bible talks about ‘Sin of the flesh’ and ‘Sin of the spirit’. There are some things that attack your flesh and there are some things that attack your spirit.

And I’m gonna do like Paul and say this I say but not the Lord, this is something that I have noticed that some people who have a terrible time controlling their fleshly sins, can have real good character and it relates to other areas of their life.

And other people who don’t smoke and don’t drink and don’t chew and don’t run around with them that do, you can’t find out what’s wrong with them until you marry them or get on the job with them or interact with them. They will pass for holy until you find out that they don’t keep their word that they will give up easily, they don’t complete their assignments, you can’t trust him to stand by you.

And know they wouldn’t take a drink for nothing in the world but they wouldn’t fight with you in a lion-deer. And sometimes you have a choice, Oh-oh god, Help me! 

You’d almost rather have the other person in a dog fight that to have somebody who is morally good and the character is so defected, That you don’t know what they’re gonna do from one moment to the next.

Can I preach this morning? 

I never will forget when I was a young Minister, newly married. I had a friend of mine who was much older than me, who was going through a real tough time in his marriage. And I didn’t even support or believe in for that matter divorce at that time, but his marriage got so bad. I told him ‘you ought to get out’.

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I said you ought to just get out! I watched him suffer so bad, I thought you ought to quit. He was so lonely that he got a dog and named it ‘Friend’. Oh no, I’m not being funny. I’m serious. 

See you don’t know what people go through behind the scenes, trying to cope with life. And I watched him take so many blows in his heart, in his masculinity, and his character that it was so hard to watch.. Once I wanted him to divorce her so I didn’t have to see it.

He stayed. Things got worse and then it got better. Then it got worse. And this sickness came in and then it got really bad. Throwing up on him, urinating on him, cleaning her up. You see, you could go through stuff and never know what’s going to happen down the road, or who you’re gonna need.

My mother used to say, ‘You never know who’s gonna have to pass you, you’re the last glass of water’. And he stuck it out, until the end. 

And I was at the funeral, listening to him – screaming and crying, over a person who I knew had broken his heart into pieces over and over again. And yet there was some bond between them, deeper than what my young eyes could see.

And I remember thinking you finished. I have never seen it before. You finished. You went all the way to the end for better and worse, and sickness and health, and richer and poor.… You went through all of that stuff. All the way to the end.

It was amazing to see somebody who finished outside of convenience.

I lost a lot of stuff, I lost a lot of friends, I lost a lot of strength, I lost a lot of courage, I lost a lot of time, I lost a lot of money. But I  kept down on my knees. I was still believing. Broke, I was believing, lonely I was believing. Betrayed I was believing.

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