Finish What You Start
by Jim Hughes
Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. (Eccl. 7:8, NLT)
How many projects have you started but never finished? If you are like me, probably more than you care to think about. We have good intentions but often get distracted or discouraged and do not finish things we start. We may run out of resources before we finish what we are doing or run out of patience or the know-how of how to proceed. Most people understand that failure to finish is a part of life. I admire those who know how to finish what they start and stick with it until it’s done. I have to admit that it’s not always the case with me.
It takes a lot of patience sometimes to finish a project you start. It’s especially true of a big project. Sometimes the task is bigger than we can handle alone so we have to solicit the help of others. Most tasks take time as well as effort to complete.
When we start out walking with the Lord, finishing is better than starting. So many start out well but never finish. They may start out like a house on fire, but soon the flames die out and all that is left is ashes. So many get preoccupied with life and other interests and wander away from God. So many of us fail to establish spiritual disciplines early in our walk of faith and lose grip on what we had. We cannot ignore Bible reading, prayer, and Christian fellowship and make it with the Lord. We cannot starve our souls of what they need and expect to keep on living. Life in Christ is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not how we start out that matters, it’s how we finish.
Jesus told us to carefully count the cost of salvation before we start out because He knows how easy it is for us to get distracted, discouraged, and defeated. Staying connected with the Lord does cost us a lot. It costs us our life goals and dreams. It costs us the hold the world has on us. It costs us giving Him control of everyone and everything in life that we hold dear. It costs us sometimes great suffering and even sometimes our lives. It costs us our selfishness and often a good standing with the world. Salvation requires of us great patience and perseverance as we journey through life.
Pride is one of our greatest enemies. It is so hard to not pat ourselves on the back for the things God has done in us and through us. It is something that we must constantly guard our souls against and whenever it rears its ugly head, we must surrender it to the Lord before it gets a foothold in us.
Don’t be a quitter. Finish well what you have started. Live moment-by-moment in a relationship with Christ and you will eternally be found in Him.
About the Author
I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly as a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years. I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son. I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage.
I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books.