Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What Have You Started But Not Completed?

Are there things in your life and in your home that you at one time were very enthusiastic about starting, but now they have been sitting for a while, uncompleted? I know I have many!

One thing that my husband has helped me with greatly is finishing books. I usually have no problem with quickly devouring fiction books or biographies, but often other books will be bought joyously and then piled up. I used to end up with many that had a bookmark about a third of the way along.

I don’t think I stop reading them because I don’t like them anymore, but it’s usually because another book becomes more exciting so the old one is replaced before it’s finished.

What my husband has encouraged me to do is to finish the book I’m reading before I start a new one. That is a hard discipline to learn, but it does mean I get to the end of books, and also means I am a lot more careful in choosing the books I buy as I now know I have to read them all the way through!!

This week I was struck by something I was reading in 2 Corinthians. It kept popping up in my head throughout the week till I finally came back to it and meditated on it. Here is what it said:

“And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.” 
2 Corinthians 8:10-12

The context is giving, but I believe the principle of completing what you started can be extended to other things. Basically – if you desired to do something that was good or right, that God was leading you to do, then you should continue to do it and not only that, but also complete it.

Having said that, we do need to be careful that it was something that was right to start, and that God was leading us to do. Also sometimes God leads us to stop something, so this doesn’t always apply.

I firmly believe that God led me to resign from studying medicine at university, therefore when someone suggests that I start studying it again or something similar, I will always say no. God led me to stop it so I’m not going to start it again unless He makes it really clear!

When I started thinking about how this applied to my life I realised that there are a number of things that this is relevant to. If I had a desire to do a good thing, then I should keep at it and finish it.

Maybe this strikes a chord with you. If you’d like to apply it to your life, you could try what I did as I meditated on it:

  1. Write down 3 things you have started but not completed in the last few years e.g. for me I started a long distance Biblical counselling course before I had kids (over 8 years ago!) and am almost at the end, but not quite!
  2. Write down what completing them would look like e.g. finish watching the counselling videos
  3. Figure out a practical step to help you continue and head towards completion e.g. set aside an evening once a fortnight to study
I even applied this as I thought of writing this blog post and then realised that if I thought of doing it but didn’t actually write it (which often happens!!) then I would be leaving something uncompleted again! So that’s why I finally sat down and wrote this J


Charlotte said...

Wow. I know why God brought me here today...I needed to hear this! Boy did it ever strike a chord with me. I tried to teach me boys to finish what they started, but honestly (as of late)I have allowed so many distractions to detour me from finishing many things I've started. I'm convicted to go back to them and finish what I started! Thank you for completing your post today, I know God will use it to bless others as He blessed me through it.

Rhoda said...

It is so easy to get distracted though isn't it! God convicted me, so I'm happy to share :)

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