“Finish Strong” by Angela Overton.
You have probably heard the quote, “Having a strong end is more important than having a perfect beginning.” Do you agree?
When we read the beginning of Saul’s story, we learn that there is a lot more to Saul than failure. As we are first introduced to him in Scripture, he is a respectful and humble young man.
He worked hard for his father and he had reverence toward the things of God.
When he sought Samuel for direction and guidance, he was worried because he didn’t have a gift for the man of God, which is a display of respect for the office. He wasn’t trying to pay for a word from God; he was trying to honor God’s prophet.
When he was chosen by God to be the first king over Israel, he said, “Me? Are you sure? I’m from the smallest tribe” (I Samuel 9:21).
On the day of his inauguration, he hid (I Samuel 10:22).
His reign began with, what seems to be, a pure heart. It may have been the pressures of the office, but we begin to see Saul’s humbleness quickly turn to pride. Saul kept misrepresenting and compromising the things of God and he began to seek after the approval of men.
The great contrast between Saul and David is that Saul recognized David’s heart and despised him for his giftings. Instead of choosing to be a great leader and develop David’s giftings, he tried to destroy him.
As Saul progressed in his reign over Israel, his desire to please his royal subjects outweighed his desire to please God. Saul was a man after the heart of the people and David was a man after the heart of God.
Saul was moved by necessities and David was moved by causes.
In the end, Saul’s selfish choices cost him the thing he coveted most—his crown.
LET’S FINISH STRONG
I had a pretty rocky beginning with God. There were a lot more downs than ups and I was on a major learning curve. But, I was dedicated to my prayer life and Bible reading (you wouldn’t have known it by looking at me), and God began to transform me from the inside out. Looking back, I am astounded by how much I have grown in the Lord, but looking ahead I realize that God isn’t through with me—and He’s not through with you, either.
The road gets wearisome, but Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Philippians 3:13-14 encourages us to forget those things that are behind us (good or bad) and reach toward the high calling of God.
If you’re reading this today, God is still writing your story. There is a high calling upon your life. You have come too far to turn back now. God has started something in your life and He can bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Remember, it matters more how you finish than how you began. Let’s end this race with the Lord strong and steadfast.
Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. An ordained minister with the UPCI, she has a master’s degree in theology and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland. A version of this article originally appeared on the More to Life website.
(Info from: UPCI Ladies Ministries – email@example.com)