By Michael A. Verdicchio
Many times in an effort to become successful, Christians will take a course to help in any number of areas. Yet statistics show that few people finish these kinds of courses.
A number of years ago I read somewhere that 80-90% of the people that start self-help programs or courses never finish them. That is a very high percentage of people who quit something they thought was going to help them!
Now I haven't seen the recent statistics on other things, like diets, or exercise programs, but I'll bet the percentage of those who quit is high as well.
Why do the majority of people who start a program never complete it? People start for a reason, a good enough reason to invest their money. They must have had a desire to see something change in their lives, and decided that the program would help to get them there.
They begin, excited and determined that this program is really going to help. They begin with a lot of enthusiasm. But then, somewhere along the way the routine and the effort seems to be too much, and they quit. All that enthusiasm and exuberance that they had just a short time ago is gone.
Now, it is possible that the program they started wasn't the right program for them. Maybe they didn't realize everything that would be involved in completing that program. That of course, is perfectly understandable.
But is that why people give up 80-90% of the time?
I think that most of the time people don't want to continue putting forth the time and effort that's necessary to see the changes that they desire. In other words, they no longer see their goal worth the time and the effort that they are putting into achieving it. They get discouraged and quit.
Many people drop out of college for the exact same reason.
One of the biggest reasons people get discouraged is because things aren't happening fast enough for them. This is partly because we live in such an instant society - we want it all now, right now!
We have fast food, email, and we can fly across the country in just a few short hours. We even have instant mashed potatoes! Living in this kind of a world can be challenging when something doesn't happen right now!
Big changes do not happen in two minutes. But, little changes are always happening. Each little change may even be hardly noticeable. However, over a period of time, those little changes start adding up and then the change becomes noticeable.
While it is very important as a successful Christian to keep your eyes on the goal, at times it's a good idea to stop for a moment and look back to see the progress you have made. Even if it's just a little progress, it's still progress, which means you are heading in the right direction. You might not be getting there as fast as you would like to, but you are getting there!
There are countless stories of people who were going to quit, but stuck it out a little longer and then saw great results. Those who did quit will never know what could have happened for them.
So, unless your self-help program really isn't what it was advertised to be, or it's just not at all what you expected, stick with it. Complete it. Finish it!
Follow the instructions implicitly and see what kind of results you end up with. Who knows, you may end up with enough information to revise the program and come up with your own.
Successful Christians find good courses, follow the instructions and finish it!