I have a friend named Beauty. She lives up to her name. She is beautiful inside and out. There are many things I admire about Beauty. She is a gifted artist, possesses spiritual maturity and discernment, and is a trusted friend. She carries all of this with kindness and humility. But one of the things I admire most about Beauty is her strength.
Beauty stands just over five feet tall, but she is a powerhouse of grit and determination. Some people aspire to run the New York Marathon once in their lives; Beauty has completed the grueling 26.2-mile marathon five times in New York (and once in Chicago).
Recently, as I scrolled through Instagram, I saw this post from her (and I’m sharing it with her permission):
“I have not won any races, but I have crossed many finish lines.”
Everyone loves to win. The applause, the recognition, the validation of our talent and hard work. But what about when we aren’t the one with the biggest following on Instagram, the most successful business launch, or the fastest-growing church? How do we define our success when our accomplishments go unnoticed?
This is why a Christian approach to productivity matters. We do not strive for validation of our purpose and our worth. Instead, we steward our purpose from a place of worth.
Maybe, collectively, we focus too much on winning and not enough on finishing. Are we crossing finish lines that God has put before us, the ones out of the spotlight, or are we abandoning our race too early, discouraged by our results and distracted by quick, superficial wins?
Starting lines and finish lines require different skillsets and mindsets. Each one develops specific fruit in our life.
Starting lines require courage, vision, and faith.
Finish lines require tenacity, resilience, and hard work.
Starting lines excite us.
Finish lines mature us.
Starting lines test our courage.
Finish lines test our resolve.
Starting lines make us braver.
Finish lines make us stronger.
If we abandon the race before we reach the finish line, we forfeit the fruit that finishing produces in us.
Maybe we won’t be the ones with the most followers, the biggest launch, or the fastest-growing new church plant. But what if our superpower was that we became solid and consistent finishers?
What finish line can you cross this week?
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