Committing to something always seems easier before you begin. Reading the Bible every day, doing the "Whole 30" diet, giving up soda, determining not to yell at your children, consistent church participation, or exercising for just 15 minutes a day all sound doable, right? Sadly, most of us don't keep such commitments for more than a few days. Why do we give up so quickly?
God encourages us to be brave enough to commit to worthwhile goals, and tells us that finishing is worth the struggle.
• "Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
• "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)
• "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...looking to Jesus...who endured the cross...and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Finishing the task you started requires "stick-to-itiveness" which means tenacity, persistence, or determination. You will need more than wishful thinking and catch phrases like "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." What happens when you fail to keep your commitment? Do you throw in the towel, or keep trying any-way? You will need a foundation and source of strength that will withstand the pressure and difficulty to come.
If we hope to stay committed to the task, we must constantly re-mind ourselves of why we began in the first place. If it mattered enough to us to start, shouldn't it matter just as much to finish? Surely, the reason why you started has not changed, has it?
We must also take advantage of the support from other Christians. Created in the image of a triune God, we are hardwired to perform most efficiently when we work together. Why is it that we often think to ourselves, "This is something that I just have to do on my own." Is it pride? Is it ignorance? Surely, it's not wisdom.
In addition, to avoid guilt in failure or egotism in success, we must agree that God is the causation and continuation of any good fruit in our life. Apart from Christ we can do no good thing (John 15:5), He will complete the good work that He began (Philippians 1:6), and nothing is to hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:27).
Therefore, when you struggle, lean on Him. When you succeed, praise Him. All glory, honor, and power are His. Amen.