No matter how talented you may be, you need persistence to maximise the use of the talent. Persistence is doing something despite difficulty. You need tenacity, determination or staying power to achieve any form of success. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.” You must carry on despite challenges, opposition or even failure. This is what makes you a champion or winner and a person of influence. A winner never quits and a quitter never wins. But you are born to be a winner. Lou Holtz said, “You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance.”
Perseverance brings you to the conclusion of your project or aspiration. Apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7). Persevere to cross the finish line and win your prize. When God gives an assignment, it usually takes longer than imagined. You come across some problems you never anticipated but God equips and gives you the strength and grace to overcome them. You must, therefore, focus on the completion of your task. If you are actually obeying and doing the will of God, you must finish your work. In John 4:34, Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” I love what Jesus said when he had successfully completed His work. He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
Some people do not realise that as God gave Jesus work to do and to finish it, He has also given all of us something to do and finish. Right from birth, all the talents and abilities to accomplish your life assignment have been released to you. It is left for you to know what to do and then apply the God-given resources to accomplish it.
You need to develop persistence with little tasks. When you have a little work before you, put all your might into it to complete it. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might… “It says, “Whatever.” That means that even little tasks must be handled with diligence, determination and perseverance. Don’t allow fatigue or distraction to stop you from completing your task. Don’t misplace your priority. Determine to stop the work only when it is finished.
Don’t accumulate abandoned projects. They are results of wrong planning and execution. If you form the habit of focusing on small tasks with all your strength, intellect, spirit, and emotion, you will succeed with big tasks. But if you fail in small tasks, how can you succeed in big tasks? Luke 25:14-30 has the parable of the talents. The servants who handled their master’s business profitably were given more talents to trade with but the servant who could not manage the little one given to him was punished and even the little he had was withdrawn.
If you desire to be successful and make maximum use of your talent, you must not be complacent. Complacency will prevent you from striving. The day you start thinking in your heart that you have arrived, that is the day you start declining. In your business, your competitors will start overtaking you. Don’t take success as a destination but a process, a journey. You must keep on succeeding to be a success. It may be necessary to take a break but that break should be to gather momentum for the long marathon race.
Complacency is a great enemy of success. To avoid this, don’t dwell on past successes but focus on the height to reach. Complacency may harbour the spirit of pride. The moment you start beating your chest to demonstrate how wonderfully you have performed, you are in danger of appropriating the glory that belongs to God. Watch it before your wall of defence starts cracking. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Vision of the big picture will nourish perseverance. The vision of where you want to be and what you want to achieve will create the desire and resilience in you. Misuse or even abuse of your God-given talent is an evidence of lack of the knowledge of who you are and God’s purpose for your life. Ignorance of this will make you not fulfil your destiny.