North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

A man once worked very hard in his career field for ten years, then he wanted to quit. Reason being, he was working as hard as he could, but it seemed like he just couldn’t get everything done. In the meantime, he was skipping church regularly and neglecting his family, and even his own health. Something had to change soon because he knew he couldn’t keep going much longer the way it was.
Perhaps you’re working yourself to the bone, but nothing’s happening. What if you’re trying to begin a new relationship and the other person doesn’t seem to know you exist? Maybe you’re trying to win back a wayward child only to see them slip further into sin. It could be you’re throwing yourself into some endeavor and you’re not getting any positive return.
Sometimes when we get frustrated it causes us to try harder. We think we’ll find success if we just do one more thing, send one more email, and schedule one more meeting. In our struggling and striving, we tend to forget our true source of power. We have a hunger, but that hunger has taken on the wrong appetite. If we would develop a hunger for righteousness, pursue it as much as we do our tasks at work, and in our relationships, then we would see a turnaround in all areas of our life.
Many people chase after things; even in the name of religion. People run after spiritual understanding, happiness, and creative ways to boost attendance at their church. Other people chase from preacher to preacher and conference to conference seeking some vague “blessing from on high”. They hunger for a spiritual experience, yet how many Christians really hunger for righteousness? Not nearly enough of us. The whole of life is to be a reflection of the righteousness of God Himself, not what others think you should be, or how far you can “climb up the ladder of success”.
The lie the world will tell you is that you have to manufacture your own success. The truth is that God does call us to certain missions in life. In so doing, He will surely empower you in that job, but the priority you devote to your relationship with him, dictates your success. Hard work is important. But burnout and frustration are symptoms of self-reliance. Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We’re powerless on our own. At least we’ll never reach our potential if we try to go “solo”.
If you’re experiencing burnout or frustration, perhaps it’s time to step back; rest and reflect. The hard part is letting go. When we hand things over to God, anxiety and self-doubt start to fade. You’ve done it your way; why not try things God’s way? The promise is that as we passionately pursue righteousness; God will fill us with it.
The bottom line is when you lack energy or become discouraged in your work and relationships, make sure you’re reaching out for what’s right. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed (happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Righteousness is contingent upon God’s grace. The only way to hunger and thirst for righteousness without becoming self-righteous or discouraged is to rely on God’s grace; God’s marvelous grace! Hard work is essential for success, but anxious striving will only set you back. Pursue God, rely on Him, and He’ll define your success through His power!
• This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study guide for Spiritual Warfare” and “The Authentic Teenager: A Bible Study Guide to Truth and Positive Living” and “Spiritual Fitness For Runners” and “Understanding the Higher Power”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.

Posted by on Oct 25 2015. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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