2016-09-21 - Strive
The word, strive, as defined by dictionary.com (verb): to exert oneself vigorously; try hard: to make strenuous efforts toward any goal: to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete.
The act of striving toward a goal is not always easy. For us human beings there are many internal obstacles that can pop out at any moment, to get in the way of achieving continued excellence. Yet as I grew up, and then later as our kids were growing up, we continued to look at life ultimately from this point of view. Not everyone does so and it’s clear as we look around in our own parts of this fallen world. We have to decide if we would rather strive for excellence or mediocrity. Mediocrity is easy, and anywhere we go it’s clearly visible. People that operate lawn businesses that consistently leave grass blown all over streets, piled up in yard and even have trash mixed in that was run over and sprayed out is common place. People shop in stores and leave carts in the parking lot, wherever they feel like dropping them, instead of putting them in cart returns. People eat in restaurants and leave food that fell in the floor, because it’s someone else’s job. Other people eat takeout and drop trash wherever, and have little concern for the results of their choice. Television commercials show countless ways we can do jobs halfway with the same results, if we just “have their product”. People consistently show up for work late or leave early, not necessarily considering the agreement they made when taking on the responsibility of a job.
These types of situations occur with those who say they are followers of Christ, as well as others who have different beliefs or no professed beliefs at all. So what am I saying? If we want people to see that Jesus is an excellent choice, and that we strive to share His love for His glory, then we need to emulate our belief in our everyday living. Am I talking about perfection and wearing ourselves out? No!! I am talking about consistency in striving toward excellence in all we do, as our Father taught us in His relentless pursuit of us. Our pursuit is from an earthly view and his from a heavenly one. Yet we can show Him and others that no matter what is happening, we can always choose to strive toward excellence. We can, as much as we are able, work hard, avoid laziness, and allow our rewards to fulfill and encourage us (literally and spiritually); we can be a witness for the one who ultimately gave it all to us. It’s the least we can do, compared to what was done for us.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. “ (Luke 16:10-14)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted