Finish What You Started PART 3

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 

1 John 3:21-23

Have you ever felt compelled to do something because in your gut you knew it was the right thing? If that thing came from a motivation of love, I believe you are on the right track! (More about being motivated by love in Part 1.)

A handful of sentences has stuck with me the past few months. The gist of it was: “Don’t do things right. Instead, do the right thing. It will take you from running around in circles to forward motion” (Manager Tools, see also this article). It seems to me that’s what today’s verse is pointing out. If our hearts are motivated by love to do the right thing, we won’t be stuck in a Pharisee-mindset of doing things right. Don’t work and love out of obligation, but instead be motivated by love to do the right thing.

In the nonprofit sector, it’s easy to get wrapped up in following the rules laid out by others. Funders, regulators, and even volunteers will have a lot of opinions on what you should do and when. Usually, it’s wise to consider the idea, but pursuing good ideas cut off the possibilities of finishing great ideas.

Last week, I shared with you how I’m learning a lot about finishing from Jon Acuff’s book, Finish. Today, it’s the same song, second verse. I’ve been able to apply some of Acuff’s pointers and combined that with some great pointers from Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen. If you’re learning how to do the right thing, prioritization often comes as a first step. Here’s the steps I pulled from David Allen’s book that made a difference for me:

  • Write it all down. Literally write everything on your mind on paper (or digitally).
  • Organize those items into a system that you can take advantage of when you have spare moments.
  • In the end, “done beats perfect” (also a quote of @ShilaMorris from the John Maxwell Team).

As @DavidAllen says, “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” Finish what God has asked you to do. Your heart will not condemn you. And if you feel your heart condemning you, then take the bold step to ask for a bold outcome for what you are working on in order to finish it.

What are you finishing this week? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

If what you are finishing is identifying your leadership style, join me for a free webinar this Thursday, April 1 at 5:30 pm PT. Together, we’ll Identify Your Leader Language. Register here.

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” If you use this link, I receive a small affiliate commission. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Finish What You Started PART 2

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 

1 John 3:19-20

Learning about yourself is fun. And edifying. And challenging. I’m a junkie for personality profiles, so when I heard that Patrick Licioni had discovered a pattern for work behaviors, I couldn’t resist. I won’t go into the details of that test called “Working Genius,” but would encourage you to take it yourself and discover more of what God created you to do.

I am, however, bringing up this resource because I learned I’m both a starter and a finisher. I found out that I am strong in Wonder and Tenacity. For me to be on a mission, I have to take on the challenge of how to not start everything today and then try to finish it tomorrow. I love to create the new systems and processes that help people get where they want to go—and then see them accomplish what they set out to do. It’s exhilarating. And exhausting.

These days, I’m learning a lot about finishing. And, I’ve finished a lot, too: a few projects at work, some overdue chores at home, and some books. Speaking of books, Jon Acuff’s book, Finish: Give Yourself The Gift of Done, was read in three days. It’s that good. And, it felt good to finish. I read Finish because I found myself vacillating between two scenarios and the extremes were growing further apart.

Perhaps you’ll recognize one of these two scenarios:

1) You get excited quickly. That new program, that new product, that new donor possibility. They are just waiting to be invited! There’s much to accomplish together, and the community benefits. What’s not to lose? Time, of course! So, you think, “Don’t lose another second! Invite that donor to the event (that hasn’t been planned yet), buy the software (that does what your current software already does), start that program (without getting board approval)! No time like the present to live life fully. Carpe diem!” I usually find myself saying these things when I have some spare hours, energy from the last cup (or it is pot?) of coffee, and a thought partner who ramps up creativity. It’s exciting.

2) You get overwhelmed quickly. That new program, that new product, that new donor possibility. They are all waiting on you. There’s so much to accomplish together, and the community benefits, so you continue to take steps forward. What’s not to lose? Time, of course. So, you think, “I don’t even have a second! I need to invite that donor to the event (that I still need to plan), I should buy the software (that maybe will make the current software better), and start the program (and I know I’ll be slowed by board approval)! There no time to live in the present. Forget carpe diem!” I usually find myself saying these things when I have no hours, no energy, and I’ve asked for no help. It’s draining.

(Spoiler alert ahead!) In either case, Finish helped to get things done and finished. For me, it was a one-two punch to stop rotating between the scenarios above.

  • Cut goals in half, and/or
  • Double the timeline.

Here’s the secret sauce: What made the biggest difference was spending time in the Word. I needed to rest in His presence, knowing that God would not condemn my heart if I didn’t get it all started…or accomplished. Set your heart in truth. Finish what God has asked you to do. Your heart will not condemn you, nor will I, and nor will God.

What goal are you going to change so that you can mark it as finished? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” If you use this link, I receive a small affiliate commission. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.