Seeing It To Completion (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

“I will be sending about fifty more cases, collected from two different skin centers. It would be good if you can complete this as quickly as possible so we can get our paper published.”

I was reading an email sent to me by a dermatologist colleague. When we began this research project, it was small and defined, involving about fifty of his patients. I was prospectively collecting the data by rendering a diagnosis on the skin biopsies and then entering the data in a spreadsheet each time I completed the patient’s report. Although this was an extra effort, requiring about 20 minutes for each case, it was not overly burdensome since it was done as a routine part of each case. 

This new revelation my colleague was sharing with me dramatically changed the parameters of the project. He was sending fifty new cases at one time. I would need to review each case and issue a report and enter the data in the same spreadsheet as I previously did. However, I was not being paid for these cases and these were being added on top of my already busy daily workload. If it took at least 20 minutes to do one case, it would require over 16 hours to complete this, time that I did not have. I was reluctant to accept it, but at the beginning of this project, I promised him that I would complete it, even if the parameters had changed. When I give my word, I honor it. God’s Word convicted my soul.

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. 

Proverbs 22:1 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul understood the importance of honoring his word and seeing his work to completion. He gave this fatherly advice to his protege and young pastor, Timothy.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

Why did Paul have this confidence? He knew it because he was living it in his own life.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT)

Seeing it to completion. 

I can grouse about my current circumstances but my witness to honor my word to my colleague was far more important. It was about keeping my word to God. There are many activities, projects, and relationships into which we enter. Although we may attempt to define the parameters of each, the unexpected is usually the norm and we may end up investing far more time and resources to complete it. The most important commitment we will make is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We may think we can define the parameters of how we will serve God, but He never makes this promise to us. Whatever obstacles or suffering we may encounter, it is to prepare us to enter His glory when we are together in Heaven with Him. And we know we will be there because God will always see it completion.


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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