Striving: struggle or fight vigorously, make great efforts to achieve or earn something.
I am pro hard work. I am all about putting in the required effort and labor towards any task, project or dream. I am all about planning, being strategic, forward thinking and whatever other business savvy terminology you got. However, there is a difference between putting in the hard work for something, towards something versus striving for something and towards something. It has all to do with our belief - our position.
As a daughter of God, I live as a daughter of the King. I am loved, known, seen and not only is there a seat for me at the table, but it is reserved and tailored made for me. My perfect fit. From that place of security, I work hard. On the flip side, if I am unsure of who I am, who I belong to, I will feel the need to "fight" for my place in this world. To strive, reach, kick down doors and "make things happen for myself." The latter never turns out well, in the end. We either hurt ourselves and or many people in the process.
The fruit of striving produces more striving. Because you have to keep it up, keep it going. The product that you produce out of your striving does not feel like a gift of joy to your recipients but rather the product feels heavy, pressured, tense, an obligation and actually overwhelming. It does not feel real, authentic. And so you are discouraged as it was not received as you hoped and then perhaps a vicious cycle of strive, produce, reject. Strive, produce reject. Eventually you will burn out, walk away, become resentful or bitter, and an unhealthy you.
However, we were created in God's image, for good works prepared in advance. We have all of heaven's resources. We are given the spirit who blows wind in our sails, and the love of the father who anchors our being which is then the byproduct of our doing. As we work hard from a secure place - not working for love but working from love, the work we produce is a true gift. It feels authentic, not fabricated, refurbished from someone else. It's life giving because it came from the source of life.
How do you know the difference? Only you would know. Check your heart and motives. Here's the other tripped out part. It could be very possible we are engaging and producing "good God" things and works that's not bad in and of itself. And it may even benefit people. However, it may not be the right "God thing" for you because it was birthed out of striving. Therefore this requires wisdom, discernment, introspection and constantly going back to the source to make sure it's still originating from the source from start to finish. Return to the "who" you are doing this for and "why" you are doing it. Let that lead you.
Perhaps another indicator - if it sounds or feels like self promoting, maybe there is a level of striving or reaching in there. Again, only you would know. We are not here to judge you. Just think about it.