A couple of days ago, I watched 3/4 of a less-than-engaging documentary about a guy riding a Segway from Seattle to Boston. The entire goal from the start was to finish. When I finally grew weary of the story, the crew was beginning to implode. Did they finish their mission? Probably. I don’t think they would have completed the project had they quit in Pittsburg. But did they finish well?
The concept of finishing well has been important to me from my earliest days in the faith. Recently, I required the students in my Business Ethics class to watch and review the movie Courageous. I asked them to conclude their comments by stating whether or not they desired to “finish well.”
Here are two of the responses I received:
“Finishing well for me, though, isn’t being a salaried employee or the mom that buys her kids the materialistic things of life. Finishing well for me is living the most Christ-like life possible so that one day we can reunite in His Kingdom. It is showing my children His ways and love and compassion that He shows me daily.”
“I want to do what I can to win the hearts of my children, and to teach them to live lives of integrity, because when I stand before God I know I will have to give an account for the gifts that He has entrusted to me. It is my responsibility to teach, lead, and direct them, by God’s grace, to the best of my ability, and to break the destructive cycles of our society.”
Here’s the heart of the Apostle Paul on the matter:
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
No hint of a Segway there! Paul wasn’t crossing the Roman Empire at 10 mph! He was running! He was pressing on (Phil. 3:14), intent upon completing his mission.
That’s remains my passion as well. Like my students and the Apostle, I deeply desire to finish strong. To be honest, I am not even sure what Paul means by “the crown of righteousness.” But since there is one, I want one! Having been given the righteousness of Christ, I want to live a righteous life!
PS: If you have a moment, you might follow the link below. I was encouraged by the comments of both the blogger as well as RC Sproul: