- to exert oneself vigorously; try hard: He strove to make himself understood.
- to make strenuous efforts toward any goal: to strive for success.
- to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete.
- to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance: to strive against fate.
I strive. Not always in a good way. I strive to be a good wife. A good Christian. A good daughter, sister, and friend. The list goes on...
But what is my motivation?
Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
My motivation should always be to please God. To do all things for His glory. I often fall short of this, though. Many times without even knowing it until after I've done something. So often my striving turns to proving.
- to give demonstration of by action.
- to show (oneself) to have the character or ability expected of one, esp. through one's actions.
Did anyone else see actions twice there? I use my actions to try to prove myself. I cook and clean to "prove" I'm a good housewife. I try to attend all family get-togethers to "prove" I'm a good daughter, sister, aunt, etc. I do my work twice as fast as my co-workers to "prove" I'm a good employee. But what if I don't do one of these things? Does it make me a bad person? Does it mean I'm not as loved by my husband? By God?
Romans 8:38-39 declares that nothing can separate us from the love of God! Nothing I do, or don't do, will make God love me any more, or any less.
All of these actions, this "proving" of myself, is foolish. Satan uses my good intentions and desire to please God to quickly turn it into a problem for me. Satan puts thoughts of fear and doubt around me that for some reason, in certain times, can seem so much easier to believe than the Truth. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a good wife, Christian, or anything else. But striving and "proving" is a danger-zone for me. I can quickly put a lot of unnecessary and burdensome expectations on myself. I need to constantly check my motivations for doing things. I need to make sure that I'm putting all of my efforts into bringing glory to God, not to myself.