In Robert Clinton’s book “Listen Up Leaders!” Clinton did a study on 100 Biblical characters and of those Bible characters, only 11 finished well in life. That’s pretty dismal. One out of ten finished well. Clinton’s further study revealed that this was true in contemporary life. Many are having great starts but only a few finish well. It’s one thing to start well but the what is imperative is to finish well.
I ran track in High School. I loved sports but I wasn’t that fond of Track and Field. If not for the fact that our Football Coach made it mandatory, I would have spent more time with my girl friend (Roi Lene). Maybe it was because there wasn’t a ball involved. Maybe it was geared too much for individual rather than team competition. But the major objection I had with Track and Field was the practices. We would run. Then we would run again. Then again we would run. We ran long distance slowly. We would run short distances fast. We ran uphill. Then we ran downhill. Then we ran on an oval track. You’re probably seeing the pattern. Give me a ball and I would run like H-E-double hockey sticks. But to run for running sake…Naaaa!
But the one thing I did learn in my years in Track and Field was that anyone could start fast but to finish hard and well was the secret to victory. The same is true in life.
“At the end of a person’s life, people who have finished well have a vibrant, growing relationship with Christ, and they have essentially fulfilled their calling and left behind a legacy of righteousness for the generations to come.” Robert Clinton Leaders on Leadership
To finish well requires a vigorous lifestyle called discipleship, that is, learning to abide in Christ, putting off the old man and putting on the new man and entering into radical change from the inside out and becoming what God intended in the first place. I want to finish well and because of that, I need discipleship.
The following are observations Clinton made about Christians who finish well:
- They maintain a vibrant relationship with God to the end.
- They maintain a learning posture throughout life.
- They modeled Christ-like character by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit throughout life.
- They lived their lives in such a way that their convictions and the promises of God were seen to be real in their lives.
- They lived their lives with a growing sense of destiny and made the necessary sacrifices to realize this to a significant degree.
- They were accountable to others in mentoring relationships. They stayed connected.
Some of you are just beginning you journey with Jesus Christ. Others of you have been at it for quite some time. But the object of the game is to finish and hopefully finish well. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.