In our culture today it seems like this is acceptable. People of all ages are in the habit of volunteering for some duty and quitting before the duty is completed, or they volunteer for the duty and merely do enough to scrape by, grumbling the whole time about the job they have to do. When this happens, it affects everyone involved – not just you.
To say you will accomplish a task and then proceed to do a half-hearted job is dishonest and lacking integrity. To quit on your responsibility before you have completed it is to put others in a bind and show that you are untrustworthy.
When we behave in such a way we teach our children this is acceptable, and then we wonder why they don’t want to stick with that sport or this instrument or any such optional activity.
When you make up your mind to take on a responsibility, integrity says you follow through to its completion.
As a leader in different organizations who delegates so that the workload is lighter for all, I have experienced the flakiness of this generation for years. I have seen people volunteer for a task and never begin to do the work. I have seen people volunteer with gusto but wither away into oblivion before the completion of the job. This reflects on their personality as well as the leadership who trusted them with the responsibility.
If I seem like this is a soapbox issue for me, it is because it is.
I was raised to give my word and follow through. I was raised that to do less was dishonest and left lasting impressions on others concerning my integrity. I was taught that this was a reflection on my character as a son of God.
Imagine if Jesus gave up before the cross. Imagine if Paul quit after the first scourging. Imagine if church leaders stopped leading. Imagine if parents stopped parenting. What would the world be like? It could be that it wouldn’t be much different than it currently is.
Jesus spoke of the integrity that should be associated with our words when he said “let your yes be yes”. When you make a commitment, your word should be your bond. You should be the type of people others can rely on to follow through with their promises.
The apostle Paul said this:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Would you quit if Jesus was there in the flesh? Would you halfheartedly work for him? Yet this passage says that’s exactly what we do when we don’t follow through with our word.
I encourage you to volunteer with many different ministries and organizations – as much as you can juggle. However, be it a church ministry, community organization or relationship, work at it as working for the Lord. If you realized it was a mistake to volunteer be honest and admit your error so others can finish what you started. But please work with integrity, leaving the job well done for the next person to follow in your steps.
This is the way of the kingdom.