If you’re a drama buff, you would probably agree with me that a good finale is just as important, if not more important that the rest of the drama plotline. After committing to the characters and dedicating days or even months to follow their stories, it’s reasonable to expect fireworks (not some trashy ending) when the final episode rolls out.
Even though we know it’s just reel and not real, isn’t it interesting how we always desire to see the lead actors and actresses end their story well? How about us?Do we care if our life stories end well?
Perhaps most of us will think that finishing well is an idea reserved for those approaching the last few years of their lives. Honestly, I have never thought about it. I am still a youth. It’s not like I am going to die tomorrow (God willing). I can think about it 40 years later. For now, all I care about is how to spend my life well. But finishing well is not simply for the elderly. In fact, it’s the choice we make now that will determine how we complete our years on earth.
In 2 Timothy 4:7, we read that the apostle Paul was a man who finished well. But we also read of someone named Demas who did not end well because he was “in love with the present world” (v.10), even though he was once a fellow worker (Philemon 1:24). This is a sobering thought because for many of us, it would seem that we still have a long way to go in life’s journey. Finishing well is guaranteed to none of us, apart from the grace of God.
So how can we finish well? The answers may sound obvious, possibly even clichéd. Nonetheless, these are fundamental things that we may all want to consider:
- Daily time with God: Our daily time with God is important. It prevents us from drifting in the wrong direction. As we soak in His Word and grow in our love for God, this love will trump the temptation to love the world—a temptation that Demas fell for.
- Daily place your life before God: Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Our lives—our bodies—are created and redeemed by God. Hence, we must daily surrender our lives to Him.
- A firm belief in the sovereignty and love of God: Life is full of pains and ugliness, sometimes through natural circumstances and other times the ill will of others. And most of the time it would seem like evil triumphs over good. But take heart, God is sovereign over all such evils, and we can trust that God is in control. So even though the world is corrupted, don’t give up on striving to finish well.
Just like how we would devote our time to see the actors and actresses end well in the drama, let’s consider devoting our time on how we can end well too. Finishing well doesn’t start at the end, it begins now.
Let’s start this new year right.