About three months ago, Elisa published a thought-provoking post “Are Women Quiet Quitting the Church?”. It garnered almost 200 responses, many of which were testimonials about women who were, indeed, quieting quitting the Church.
Quiet quitting doesn’t actually mean quitting. It means relaxing your effort to do what’s required but to stop doing more. Instead of “going the second mile,” you go one mile and that’s all. What’s the benefit to going the second mile anyway? The person who has compelled you to help benefits. If you have lots of time and energy and want to feel good, you might benefit from going the second mile. But sometimes going the second mile just makes you feel like someone is taking advantage of you.
Quiet quitting can happen in any context – career, Church, anywhere you spend time and energy. Several years ago, I cut way back on the time and energy I put into Christmas. We put up the decorations that my sons are willing to help with, and that’s all. I got rid of about half my Christmas decorations. I took the same approach to Christmas baking. We bake the cookies my sons care about enough to help with (which is a surprisingly short list). I made this change because I realized I was putting on a Hallmark-worthy Christmas and resenting the people who weren’t helping me. Rather than trying to force Christmas togetherness, I dialed back. Great results; no regrets.
I did the same thing about my career. I went to school during the self-esteem movement of the 1980s. I was regularly told that I could change the world! Do anything I set my mind to! Run for president! After a nervous breakdown, I am now content to just have a job. I like it; it pays decently; it provides health insurance. There are two possible promotions, but I don’t feel like working towards a promotion so I don’t.
My Church efforts lasted a lot longer than my career efforts, actually, and even outlasted my Christmas dial-down. My story about quiet quitting Church, and then completely quitting, is on Elisa’s thread. I stayed active and giving 100% in my calling for much, much longer than I tried to stay fully motivated about a career, or even about being the super hands-on mom.
Many of us have pulled back on Church activity – not just the women; plenty of men at W&T have stepped back from the full commitment of time, talents and everything that the Church asks for. My question for you is if that fit into a bigger context in your life? Did you step back from Church, and yet keep the same effort at work? Or did reevaluating your Church effort go along with reevaluating your career effort? Or the effort you put into other activities, like community service or even just decorating for Christmas?
Or conversely, as you’ve dialed down Church efforts, have other ambitions stepped into first place? Is there anything in your life that you’re as dedicated to as you once were about Church?