Watch your child at tennis practice and it won’t be long before the coach barks, “Follow-through on that forehand! Follow-through! Follow-through!” Then, when at junior high basketball practice, the coach sounds like a broken record as the team practices free throws: “Follow-through after you release the ball. Follow-through is the key.” And it’s the same for swinging a golf club or a baseball bat.
What’s so important about follow-through? It gives evidence that one understands the entire event, the whole process, the total requirement. And experience has shown that those who follow-through consistently are most successful—whether in sports or in life. Follow-through means putting away the tools after working on the car, folding and putting the clothes away when they’re dry, and leaving the kitchen spotless after preparing a five-course meal. This last example illustrates why we don’t follow-through naturally—the less glamorous a part of the task, the more discipline is required to complete it.
But while we don’t always follow-through naturally, the fact that we agree with its importance is a sign that we are God’s creatures. Being made in his image, we discover vestiges of his nature in who we are, be they ever so tarnished. And when it comes to follow-through, God never fails. In fact, his grand and sweeping purpose for our lives is one bold demonstration of his beginning-to-end, start-to-finish way of doing things. Paul summarizes it for us in Philippians when he says that God, who began a good work in us when we came to know Christ, will carry on that good work until the day that Christ returns. In other words, God didn’t call us to himself only to leave us wandering around trying to find heaven on our own. His purpose is specific—to conform us to the likeness of his own Son (Rom. 8:29).
You may jab at a jumpshot, punch at a putt, and force a forehand, and in so doing learn something about the necessity for follow-through. But to see a glorious example of it in action, look in the mirror. If you are a Christian, today you are one step closer to meeting Jesus face to face (1 Cor. 13:12). God always finishes what he starts.
God’s Promise to You: “What I have begun in you I will certainly complete.”
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