Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a significant book entitled Necessary Endings. Cloud wrote, “When we fail to end things well, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that keep us from moving on.” He shares observations why pruning may be essential for an organization to move forward; why many leaders struggle to understand that endings are a natural season in life; the difference between pain with a purpose and pain for no good reason; hoping versus wishing; three kinds of people; creating urgency and motivation for change; how to handle resistance; and, many other excellent insights that best position leaders to succeed in the future.
“The awareness of hopelessness is what finally brings people to the reality of the pruning moment . . . In a false reality, hope is the worst quality you can have.” Too often leaders fail to have the moral courage to take the steps necessary to achieve a successful future. Unnecessary reluctance or fear to do what is required sabotages necessary endings.
Proverbs 15:24—For the discerning the path of life leads upward, so that he may avoid going down to Sheol.
Romans 12:1,2--Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Now let’s look at something that all of us have to give up in order to move upward—our ability to determine our own fate apart from God. A discerning person should have the future in mind. Consider the woman who understands that no matter how hard she tries, she cannot control or overcome her sin nature. She knows that eventually she is going to die because every person expires. She hopes that God is a good God who will let her into heaven because she is essentially a good person. Unfortunately, Scripture tells us this is a false reality (Ephesians 2:8,9). Misplaced sincerity results in the wrong action or no action. Unless she reaches a point of hopelessness with respect to self-determining her fate, she is unlikely to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit to accept God’s necessary ending.
God redeems people through the Holy Spirit revealing to us the reality of sin and the need to repent; the truth that His holiness cannot be compromised by overlooking and giving a “free pass” to evil; and, the salvation that comes solely by trusting in Jesus, His sacrificial Son. The necessary ending that comes when we die to self and conformity “to this age,” to be transformed through a renewed mind made possible by following after Christ, leads to a nonending life with our Heavenly Father. What a fantastic future!
We triumph in being rightly aligned with the supreme plan of God, which is to fill all things with Christ.—Francis Frangipane in The House of the Lord
©2019 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Dr. Henry Cloud, Necessary Endings, (Harper Business, New York © 2010).