And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
2 Corinthians 8:10-12 (NKJV)
I have been trying to think of a smooth way to introduce this verse, but I can’t. All I can think to tell you is how this verse means the world to me right now. I actually marked in my Bible sometime last year, and I remember it pricking me then. When I quit my job a couple of years ago to stay home, I had things I wanted to do. Some things were of a strictly practical nature. I have kitchen and bathroom “remodels” that have been going on for a long time and a yard that has needed attention for many a winter. Other things are ones I truly believe God has put within me the desire to do. When I went back to work this year, many of those things remained undone. They had been talked about and toyed with, but nothing has come of them. They have not been completed. I can not tell you how frustrating that is for me, but I bet for many of you, I don’t have to. You know.
The New Year rolled around and you were very aware of what you had meant to do, what you had started to do, and yet somewhere along the way had neglected to complete. Maybe for reasons you had no control over. Maybe, like me, because you talked yourself around it or out of it. Paul offers a stiff challenge in the first couple of lines of this passage. Sure, he is talking about money, but good advice can be applied to many areas.
It is not enough for us to just desire to do something and start. We must finish. As eager as we were when we first thought of it and as excited as we felt at the mere mention of it, we must choose to maintain that excitement and eagerness in seeing it through. In our own flesh that can be a very daunting task. The boldness I originally felt waned as my flesh and my enemy spoke doubt to me and made a point to make sure I was aware of my of my many shortcomings. Good thing Paul covered those as well.
For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
My list of have-nots doesn’t matter a hill of beans to the Lord. He desires what I have.
In the practical things.
In the dreams He has tucked away in my heart.
In the future He has only shown me glimpses of.
In all of it.
He wants me to give what I have with a willing mind. He will gladly make up the rest. I can’t tell you how many times He has provided inspiration and wisdom in the practical areas of my life as well as the spiritual ones.
To echo the words of Paul – And in this I give advice– let’s finish what we started. Last year. Ten years ago. Whenever you started it, let us finish it this year. Together. It may be the very thing the Lord is waiting on before He starts that new thing we have been asking Him for.
* And now for some accountability. I, we, would love to hear what you are starting, how and when. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Then we, along with you, can follow-up with one another, encourage each other and spur each other onto good works.
I’ll go first. I have a project that needs finishing. It has been sitting on the back burner for two years now. It is time to pen to paper and get at it. Phone calls need to made, so as my accountability partners, within two weeks please ask me if I have made those calls. Knowing you’re checking up on me might just be the shove I need.
Be sure to let us know what you’re doing.
After all, it’s only fair that I get to shove back.
With Christ’s great love and you in mind,