Striving for the Right Thing

I strive.

And it is tiring.

I want.

And it leaves me empty.

I pursue things.  Things that I think I need.  Things that are really only wants.  Sadly, things that I probably don’t need or want.  And these things begin to occupy space in my heart – space reserved for something else.  And I don’t even realize it until I feel the strain…the anxiousness…the stress of striving.

Then sleep is lost and precious moments robbed of their joy.

God leads me to the words of Paul…

Train yourself in godliness…In fact, we labor and strive for this. – 1 Timothy 4:7,10 HCSB

My error is not in my striving – it is in striving for the wrong thing.  It is a devotion misdirected.

Lord, may I strive for godliness.  May I pursue You.

Godliness is our goal because, as Paul tells Timothy, we have put our hope in the living God.  Why strive for material possessions when our hope is not in wealth?  Why pursue worldly recognition when our hope is not in our popularity?  It is godliness that our souls should long for.

When we chase after Him – we find peace as well.

For he himself is our peace… – Ephesians 2:14 NIV

And isn’t peace something we all long for?  This time of year when the word is heard in songs and seen on signs and yet…so hard to find.  It’s so ironic that peace would be hard for people to find as we enter a season that is supposed to be all about the One who is peace.  This Christmas I pray that I will strive for godliness and nothing else.

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