I know a guy whose parents bought some property out in the country about 30 years ago. They started out on the journey of building their dream house. Exciting, right?
He took me on a tour of the house about 5 years into the project. It had bare floors, no paint, no doors, no door jambs, no window trim, no light fixtures, no switch plates or electrical outlet covers, no baseboards. It was a huge house and had such potential to be so beautiful. But here’s the kicker…his parents lived in this unfinished house for the next 20 years. What they started—even with excitement and fervor—they never finished.
“Finish what you start!” How many times have you heard that phrase or something similar? If it were so ingrained in our DNA we wouldn’t be looking around our homes or offices or shops with numerous unfinished projects.
I know several people who are starters, but not finishers. They kinda drive me crazy. They begin a project, a job, a class, a program (or whatever) with such resolve, zeal, and fervor. They have all their ducks in a row. It appears they’re really setting themselves up for success, but at some point along the journey something happens. They bail. They drop out. They quit. Something better comes along. They get distracted. And the project falls apart. The job is left undone. The class or program suffers or fizzles or completely breaks down as a result.
I love the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the church at Corinth. You see they had begun the journey of giving financially with great desire and resolve. Paul wants them to continue on with this same kind of eagerness, so he writes “Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now…” (2 Corinthians 8:11, NLT). What a great exhortation, don’t you think?
Bible commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “Good purposes are like buds and blossoms, pleasant to behold, and give hopes of good fruit; but they are lost, and signify nothing without good deeds. Good beginnings are well; but we lose the benefit, unless there is perseverance.”
Unfinished projects do get on my nerves. I don’t care for what Mr. Henry wrote but I think he’s right on. I hate to think what benefits I lose or what my unfinished projects really signify. On a deeper level, do you know who gets the victory when we resolve, but don’t follow through? The Devil himself. And that’s a thought I simply can’t stomach.
So…to each of you in the midst of a project, or with tons of unfinished ones lying around I want to encourage you to “finish what you started.” Do what it takes to turn those buds and blossoms into fruit. Persevere and stand firm. For when you reach completion, you will get the benefit, God will get the glory, and the fruit of your labor will indeed be of significance.