I am intrigued by the lives of courageous risk-takers. Especially, those God has used to bring about significant change in the world. William Wilberforce was one of those people. Although he was born into a wealthy family and became a member of the British Parliament at the age of twenty-one, he was not satisfied with his money or his prestige. Instead, Wilberforce worked for forty-six years (yes, that is 46) to abolish the African slave trade in Great Britain.
A lot can happen in forty-six years. One would think he would have given up. It’s not like there were no other accomplishments in his life. During his lifetime, Wilberforce began sixty-five social agencies, including those working for prison reform, the improvement of working conditions for chimney-sweeps and textile workers, restrictions on capital punishment, education to help alleviate poverty, the founding of the first animal welfare organization, and establishing the first national gallery of art (just to name a few). Quite a list of accomplishments. But he never gave up on his most passionate goal.
The Slavery Abolition Act was passed in 1833, just three days before he died.
Three days before he died.
Wilberforce’s life teaches us a very important leadership lesson. Persevere with what God has called you to do. Don’t grow weary and give up the fight. If something is worth giving your life to, it is also worth staying faithful to the end.
God isn’t finished with you yet. Even if you have just three days left.