Take a moment and answer this question: Are you currently striving or thriving in your life? On the surface striving doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing, right?
We spend our lives striving to make it to the next level whether it’s at work, in relationships, at school, or in church. According to dictionary.com, the word strive is defined as a verb that means “to exert oneself vigorously; try hard” and “to make strenuous efforts towards any goal”.
I began to think about this concept of striving and thriving after hearing the Casting Crown song Thrive. In that song, there are two lines that say “It’s time for us to more than just survive/We were made to thrive.” What does that mean exactly? Was I just surviving in this life that God has given me? Was I striving every day to be a certain way, do certain things, or meet certain goals? The answer was yes.
John 10:10 tells us that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. Often times when this verse is taught or referenced, it is said that thief is the Devil. But the thief isn’t just the Devil. “The thief” is anything that takes our focus away from our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. The thief could be your job, the thief could be a relationship, the thief can be your friends, or the thief could be an addiction that your friends and family may or may not know about.
Related Post: Protect Your Identity
When we don’t focus on Jesus and search for satisfaction elsewhere, we can find ourselves constantly trying to strive to find something that fills what we think is missing. However, when our focus is on Him, we can live a life full of abundance the way they He intended us to. When we have Jesus in our lives we don’t have to strive for things because He is all we need. We can receive the love, grace, and forgiveness of Christ by simply inviting Him into our lives. There is nothing we have to or can do to earn His love, grace, or forgiveness.
When we strive for things in life, we can feel overwhelmed, stressed out, worried and anxious when we wake up every day exerting ourselves trying to strive for perfection, popularity, or positions. Sometimes, we may even feel guilt and shame when we don’t meet the expectations we set for ourselves. When we thrive, we can feel joy, peace, comfort, happiness, and love.
Here are some things that helped me stop striving and begin thriving:
1. Putting God first in all areas of my life. “Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will you everything you need” Matthew 6:33
2. Praying about EVERYTHING. “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6
3. Joining a small group. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’ Genesis 2 “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20
4. Doing daily devotions. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105