They start out with a bang. Enthusiasm is running high. So is productivity. The future is promising. Then the first signs of trouble begin to appear. The energy level drops off. Passion goes into an alarming state of decline. That’s about the time you notice a change in attitude and countenance. A personal malfunction has occurred and it all comes to a grinding halt. What began with so much promise ends poorly. It’s like a musical composition performed beautifully only to end on a sour note. And that’s what you will always remember; the sour note.
The failure to finish well is nothing new, even among Christians. To the Christians in Galatia, Paul wrote, “You ran well. Who hindered you?” (Galatians 5:7). These first century believers were strong in their walk with the Lord…for a while. Stunned by their sudden lapse, Paul asked, “What happened?” Silence.
I’ve wanted to ask that question numerous times. The problem is you rarely get a straight answer. No one likes to admit to loss of passion, the breaking of a commitment, or the failure to see something through to the end with excellence. It’s much easier to spin the story, play the blame game, or just walk away. Oh well, Paul didn’t get a straight answer either.
In Ecclesiastes 9:10 Solomon set the standard for believers of all generations, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” Give it your very best from start to finish. Start with excellence. End with excellence. Don’t finish on a sour note. Finish strong.
But what if things get tough? What if adversity and disappointment come along? What if I don’t like it anymore? Then maintain Christian integrity as Joseph did in Egypt and finish well. Those who do so always rise to the top. “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” (Proverbs 22:29).
Whether its the class you are enrolled in, the job you are employed at, the ministry you are serving in, the project you are involved with, or some other area of commitment, follow the example of Jesus Christ who endured the cross and ended with a shout of victory. Finish well!
Pastor Todd Weston