Finish Strong. Whether you are running a race, playing a game, wrapping up the school semester, or working the week before you retire—finishing strong reveals who you are. It is not hard to think about races where the first place favorite, thought he or she had a great lead and didn’t push all the way through the end. I have often heard teachers talk about “senioritis”, a very contagious disease where those students who are graduating act as if they already have a diploma. In the workplace, it is not uncommon to find some people end up very unproductive in the last couple of weeks before they retire. I know one of the reasons I don’t do well in sports is because whenever I swing a bat, a club, or shoot a free throw—I often heard the same critique, “follow through”, another way of saying “finish strong”.
Paul encourages the Ephesians to put on the full armor of God so they not only “live strong” but also “finish strong” (Ephesians 6:13). In fact, Paul describes his life in terms of finishing strong. In Acts 20:24 he says, “I count my life of no value to myself, except that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. He explains to the Philippians, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14). And he encourages those living in Corinth to, “Run in such a way to win the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
Finishing Strong displays not only your character but also your true level of commitment. This is why the author of Hebrews said, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Don’t Quit—Finish Strong!