Striving for Our Goal in 2017
Our Elders have stated that one of the significant tenets for congregational emphasis at West Mason during 2017 is that we should “strive for peace.” This is a worthy goal for each of us, both individually and collectively. Let’s discuss what it means to “strive” for something.
The dictionary defines the word “strive” as “to struggle or fight vigorously.” Associated with this word is the concept of strife, or the bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; or, conflict. So, when we say we should “strive for peace,” it may seem paradoxical (declaring war for peace). However, we must be willing to vigorously fight for righteousness.
The Bible teaches that we should seek to find peace with all men, and to show kindness, even to those who are seeking to harm us. Our attitude should be to stand firm against sin, but also show love and consideration for all mankind. An often-used phrase is to “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”
Another consideration in an examination of “striving” for a goal involves the effort we are to put forward. We must seek after it eagerly as we earnestly endeavor to acquire it.
When I was younger, I collected coins. One of my goals was to collect an entire set of Mercury dimes, one from each year from 1916 to 1945. As the collection grew I realized that certain coins were much more difficult to find than others. I was striving to find the missing dates. Beyond merely watching my pocket change (you could find Mercury dimes in change in those days), I went to the bank and purchased rolls of dimes to search through. I volunteered for a charity which placed coin sleeves in businesses, so I would have the opportunity to look through the donations. I also let all my friends know that I was saving Mercury dimes and was willing to buy them. I was striving to achieve this goal.
My point is that striving for something means we must truly want to achieve it. We must be willing to engage in the pursuit for it, and have an attitude to work creatively and energetically to achieve it.
Here are some Biblical examples of how to strive for peace:
- 1 Timothy 6:11-12 - “…Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
- II Timothy 2:22 - “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
- Proverbs 15:9 - “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves the one who pursues righteousness.”
Let us all commit ourselves to strive to achieve this goal during 2017--and beyond!