I realize that so much has been said, books published, teachings aired on the subject of “Finishing Well”, that I hesitated to go down this road again. But as much as I tried, I could not let it go. I’m sure that most of what you read here will be a repeat of what you already knew.
However, reminders are good, and perhaps, this time it will lead us to a faithful and fulfilled finish.
As my wife and I are approaching 51 years of togetherness and 50 years of partnering in ministry, there are some things we have learned and have tried to practice in our lives to keep us in a position to finish well. A little disclaimer: I didn’t always do everything right or well, and in some cases, even failed. But there was always grace given, unconditional love, and forgiveness. I guess having the right life partner helps.
To avoid the pit-falls, mistakes, little pieces of “stupid” that make the journey so much more difficult I submit the following.
To finish well we must guard our hearts against these three things (as well as others, but these three for now):
First, guard your heart against hurt feelings and being offended.
Wayne Cordiero once said, “You can choose to be offended or have miracles. You can’t have both.” Jesus said offenses would come. We who are in the people business are usually dealing with hurt people and soon realize hurt people hurt people and sometimes it’s you. Choose to forgive anyone who is trying to ruin your life. Don’t let the hurts and offenses take root and grow into the fruit of bitterness.
Second, avoid moral failures.
We have all read about or know someone who has been caught in this trap. Perhaps it is you. I’m not just talking about being unfaithful in a marriage, but any improprieties and indiscretions displayed in any matter. Anything that requires a lie to cover it up. For me it was the handling of our finances. Hearts had to be healed and they were.
Here’s some suggestions: Use good, sanctified, common sense. Guys, don’t invite that lady to meet you in your hotel room to “talk business” when your wife’s not present. The Bible says, avoid the very appearance of evil. Psalm 112 says, “A good man guides the affairs of his life righteously and with discretion.”
Lastly, guard your heart from being cold, critical, and judgmental.
Believe it or not, this can become more a possibility the longer we’ve been following Jesus and the older we get. You’d think the opposite would be true. It seems we forget how it all began for us. It perhaps had something to do with someone showing us grace and forgiveness and pointing us to the One Who gives ultimate grace and love, mercy and forgiveness, and Who calls us to be like Him.
The bottom line is found in Philippians 1:6 which says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
God is in the finishing well business and through the power of the Holy Sprit (the helper) we can finish well also.