Inside: We love results, but what about the journey to get to the results? The follow-through is important to growth! How’s your follow-through? Here are 10 Habits for you as you practice growth on your journey!
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Baseball is pretty important in our family! My husband played baseball all through school and now each of my boys has taken to it.
It might be our family’s favorite sport! (Don’t tell their coaches though!)
Here’s what I’ve learned about pitching in baseball:
You need to protect your arm.
You don’t just pick up a ball and throw it, there is a process you need to go through first.
Pitchers need to learn the mechanics of how to pitch before they ever let that ball go on the pitcher’s mound.
It’s a process of building up that arm. Strength first, speed next.
Once the pitcher learns mechanics, distances increase as do speeds.
The result is what we all like to watch. Strikes which lead to strike-outs.
But without the follow-through of the process, the ball won’t even get close to the home plate.
Once a pitcher has mechanics, distance, and speed, they do all that they can to protect their arm.
Wearing jackets and sweatshirts in cold weather is important to keep that arm warm and to help it endure and stay consistent and healthy.
The process is pretty involved and it’s a journey of growth and body awareness.
There have been many pitchers that don’t have a great follow-through and either hurt their arms or never get the ball to home plate. This shows the importance of mechanics and arm care.
Follow-Through Versus Instant Gratification
The result is instant gratification. That’s what we are all looking for.
The 20-pound weight loss. The end of a chronic problem. The cessation of anxiety.
The cure for…….
The journey isn’t fun. Who talks about the journey?
We just want a happy ending. That’s what we tune in to hear.
We all want results right away, don’t we?
Want to know something?
The results won’t remain if the follow-through isn’t there.
One of my sons likes to watch the show 600lb Life on TLC. Here’s the gist of the show: the very overweight people try to get approved by their doctor to get gastric bypass surgery as they hope it will get them back to health.
The doctor on the show won’t agree to the surgery until they lose weight and hit a weight goal on their own.
This show demonstrates the power struggle to want to lose weight but having bad habits that interfere.
The series showcases the follow-through, the journey of developing healthy habits before there is even talk of surgery.
It’s a huge struggle for these individuals (as it is with us when we want to ditch bad habits for healthier ones.)
The results of weight loss via gastric bypass won’t matter if there isn’t follow through because people can overeat and essentially undo the surgery.
How’s Your Follow- Through?
Have I demonstrated through these two examples how important follow-through is?
Let’s check out what God’s word says about the journey. Specifically, examples of persevering on the path God has called us to.
Another way of putting this is: What is your commitment level? How long can you endure?
So many times we want instant results, but we get the most personal growth during the journey of becoming a different person.
We get frustrated when it’s hard.
This is where the real growth happens, even before you reach your goal!
In the book of Joshua, we see the Israelites finally inherit the Promised Land. Here’s the deal though, just because it was promised didn’t mean the Israelites didn’t have to fight to take it.
When these followers of God listened and trusted in God and His word, they were victorious in taking the land from their enemies.
These verses in Joshua chapters 12-19 show us how the land was obtained. The land, however, was only obtained because of the Lord directing Moses (Joshua 11:23)
The results were the Promised Land, but the completion of faith and trust was to listen to God’s instructions and take control of the land according to God’s wishes.
Without the follow-through, the land wouldn’t have been obtained in the way that God wanted it. Once the land was taken, it was divided according to what Moses directed via God.
And the land had rest from war.
What would have happened had the Israelites not listened to what the Lord had said?
Probably continual war and lack of faith growth.
Why as Christians we follow through?
God sees the whole picture from beginning to end. Our whole life is about personal growth and a relationship with God.
Our goal is Heaven, the journey for us, as Christians, is using our lives to grow more like Jesus and get deeper in our relationship with Him.
As Christians, we understand this!
(Don’t get me wrong, we still are humans and have painful seasons and times where we dislike life but we know God has a plan that is bigger than anything we can fathom!)
This “why” and purpose is the whole reason we are created.
So many people are aimlessly wandering in life because they don’t have a solid why.
We aren’t just primordial soup here and just a result of the big bang theory. There is a purpose for each one of us in the Kingdom of God.
He has a purpose and a plan for each of us. He will ask us on Judgment Day about what we did for Him.
We don’t look back at the mistakes we made, but rather look ahead to grow more like Him.
Staying in the past is stagnation to any growth. As humans, we like to stay stuck in our past–It’s easier to do.
It requires less energy to stay stuck instead of trying to grow and change. (Even with God’s help, we still need to be active participants!)
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Mistakes Are Part of the Journey
Here’s the deal: we will make mistakes.
We will all: Fail. Screw up. Create messy situations.
As Christians, we stand apart and walk on a narrow path, different from the rest of the world.
Our why is compelling! We follow through on the Christian life because we look ahead to our final goal.
14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
If you need more encouragement for your journey, check out Corrie ten Boom. Learn about her growth journey and how she focused her eyes on God through her painful season of growth!
We are Part of the Winning Team
As Christians, we know who wins in the end! God’s Word shares with us that we will be victorious also!
We understand the bigger picture, obstacles, and setbacks. Painful seasons have a purpose for growth and will be used by Him for Him!
God has plans for us!
When we grasp this, when painful situations happen, while we don’t understand the pain and heartache, we can take comfort in knowing that God loves us and has a plan for even this season!
I don’t know about you, but this brings great comfort to me!
10 Habits for Follow Through
- Be consistent! Growth is consistent action over a period of time.
- When starting new habits, give yourself grace! It doesn’t happen overnight!
- Don’t wait for motivation to show up, just start! Motivation comes from doing!
- Try and try again!
- Realize failure is part of growth. Expect it!
- Solidify your “why” daily! Remind yourself of your why!
- Adjust and readjust! Over and over!
- Be excited to learn every day!
- Embrace growth!
- Trust and put your hope in God. He has a plan and purpose!
“It is the ‘follow through’ that makes the great difference between ultimate success and failure because it is so easy to stop.”
~ Charles Kettering