You are spending your time, talent and treasure toward something. Don’t waste your investment. Make sure the end is worth the effort. Here are ten things worth striving for.
1. To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard; applicable to exertions of body or mind. A workman strives to perform his task before another; a student strives to excel his fellows in improvement.
Strive with me in your prayers to God for me. Rom. 15.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Luke 13.
2. To contend; to contest; to struggle in opposition to another; to be in contention or dispute; followed by against or with before the person or thing opposed; as, strive against temptation; strive for the truth.
My spirit shall not always strive with man. Gen. 6.
3. To oppose by contrariety of qualities.
Now private pity strove with public hate,
4. To vie; to be comparable to; to emulate; to contend in excellence.
Each of us is striving towards something. We get up in the morning to do it. We spend our time and money towards it. We think about it in our spare time. We go without preferences and sometimes necessities to attain it. What is “it” for you? What are you striving towards?
Some people are striving to survive. Working day to day to pay the bills, keep a roof over their heads, and feed the family. Others strive to be rich. They have enough for their basic needs and most of their wants, yet they hope to reach some financial number that will bring them freedom from the rat race. Many strive to be the best in their profession or sport to attain fame and fortune.
Have you ever thought about what would happen if you achieved what you were striving for? I’m not talking about what you hope or dream it will be like. I mean what it would really be like based on history and example. Would the end be worth all the effort and sacrifices you made along the way?
For most people, the answer is no. The end is not worth the sacrifice. Life is replete with examples of rich and famous people who admit to emptiness and disappointment after they have “reached the top.” Sometimes their lives completely fall apart due to depression, anger, immorality, or substance abuse.
We should learn from their example. If we are not striving for things that truly matter, our journey will not end as we hope. Don’t get so busy climbing the ladder of success that you forget to make sure it’s leaning against the right building.
Tom Brady, the famous quarterback of the New England Patriots, gave an eye-opening interview to 60 Minutes in 2005. He had earned 3 Super Bowl rings, had a multi-million dollar contract, cheered by millions of adoring fans, and was married to a supermodel. He was already being discussed as one of history’s great quarterbacks and was only 30 years old. Many would consider that a dream scenario. Yet in the interview, he revealed his confusion about success.
“Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what it is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘God, it’s got to be more than this.” The interviewer asked, “What’s the answer?” Tom Brady replied, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.”
How sad. Tom Brady speaks for many “successful” people who have experienced the same confusion. The devil wants you to believe that lie that you can find happiness, peace, and joy without God. That is simply not true.
Choose some spiritual goals that will matter for eternity and strive for them with all your being. Here are some suggestions:
1. To know God.
1 Samuel 3:7 “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.”
2. To be like Jesus.
Ephesians 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
3. To please the Lord.
Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
1 Corinthians 7:32“But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:”
4. To have a great marriage.
Ephesians 5:32–33 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
5. To be a Christian parent.
Luke 2:27 “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,”
6. To be a godly young adult.
1 Timothy 4:12“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
7. To be an obedient child.
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
8. To be a soulwinner.
Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that winneth souls is wise.”
9. To be wise.
Proverbs 3:13–18 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, And the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, And the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: And all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; And in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: And happy is every one that retaineth her.”
10. To serve God until you see Him.
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
These are spiritual goals worthy of your time, talent and treasure. Choose the items that are appropriate for your age and stage of life. Strive to make them a reality. They will pay eternal dividends for you and your loved ones.
Which one will you tackle first?