My good friend, Dr. Dick Keltner, shared a valuable lesson he taught his son about quitting. Dr. Keltner was coaching his son in his second-grade intramural basketball game, when the other team scored two points. His son got upset, and his teammates shut down. They wouldn’t play, and the team lost.

When Dr. Keltner and his son went home, he told him, “Son, I’m going to teach you not to be a quitter.” He took a ping-pong paddle and said, “I’m going to give you a lick for everybody on your team that you let down. This is for Sam . . .” He went through every one on his son’s team. To this day, Dr. Keltner’s son will gladly tell you why he’s not a quitter.

Many parents today would have had sympathy for their kids. But that will only ruin them. Of the many godly traits we hope to instill in our children, one of the greatest is persistence. Show me a boy or girl who is a quitter and I’ll show you a poor husband, wife, father, mother, and role model.

Life offers us many opportunities to quit. Someday you may let your teammates, friends, or family down. You’ll fail to measure up to your own expectations. And you will feel like giving up. Friend, moving on will set you ahead. Quitting will only set you back. Victories are only won by the perseverant. Take the first step toward the winner’s crown today.

A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits. — Richard M. Nixon

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder