March 22, 2022 |Lawrence L. McCooey
After extensive study, professor and author Dr. J. Robert Clinton concluded that more than 70 percent of leaders do not finish well. You may not agree with his conclusion, but you can probably think of people in the Bible, contemporary leaders, or people you know personally who sadly did not finish well. Much has been written about this topic, the underlying causes, and what could be done to prevent such outcomes.
As a believer, staying focused on the Lord and His plan and purpose for your life can give you the strength and resolve to finish well. In fact, one simple definition of finishing well is “walking with God to the end.” Losing our vibrant relationship with the Lord is certainly a primary reason for not finishing well. After thinking about this topic over the years, I have identified three primary barriers to finishing well. First is fatigue, which can manifest itself in many ways and cause us to plateau rather than press forward into God’s purposes for us. As Vince Lombardi said, “fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
The second barrier to finishing well is selfishness. I read an article by a psychologist that said people tend to grow more selfish as they get older. This attitude can cause a shift toward things, comfort, or a sense of entitlement.
The third barrier is cynicism. All of us have been around the block a few times. We’ve been burned, knocked around, disappointed, and seen things that “shouldn’t ought to be.” We might think Lily Tomlin was right when she said, “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never going to be enough to keep up.” But cynicism can make us crusty, hard, and uncaring.
The Scriptures address each of these barriers as well as all the barriers we face as fully devoted followers of Christ. One of my favorite passages is 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Whether you are just starting your journey, navigating the challenges of middle age, or exploring the latter chapters of life, may you be found always “walking with God to the end.”
Remember, Orchard Alliance is here to walk with you and provide the tools and resources you need to finish well in the areas of Kingdom investments and charitable giving. It is an honor to serve you along your journey.