Thriving or Simply Surviving?

On my daily drive home back from basketball practice this morning I was listening to the radio when the song “Thrive” by Casting Crowns came on the radio. From the very first time I heard this song, the lyrics really stuck out to me.

But today as I was listening to it, it was different. The words seemed to hit me a lot harder. Repeating them over and over in my head. Even after the song ended and other songs continued playing, my mind kept repeating “it’s time for us to more than just survive, we were made to thrive.”

Thrive…. Thrive…

As I thought about that line, one of the things I asked myself is “Am I really thriving?” 
I started thinking about my life. My weekly routines, my habits, the people I see regularly, all the tiny things that make up my little life. I couldn’t stop thinking of that one question..
“Am I really thriving?”
When I wake up in the morning, am I nonchalantly getting out of bed, and moving on with life like it’s just another normal day? 
Or am I thriving? Am I constantly looking for ways to help people? To encourage, to love? 
No. I’m really not. I fall into the comfortable routines and go through my days, weeks, months, and years like I’ll always have more. 
I simply survive. Instead of thriving.

Once I realized this, my new 2015 resolution became “to thrive, not simply survive.”
So what exactly does it mean to “thrive”?

“To develop well or to grow vigorously” is how the dictionary defines the word.  

To grow vigorously. 

Next I wrote down three ways I want to grow vigorously this year. 

Number 1. For His Kingdom.

I started to type here, “I want to step out of my comfort zone for Him” But that’s not what I want to do. No, I want to completely demolish it. Not only stepping out, but leaving it far behind.
Last year I wrote a speech for class centered around the quote by Neale Walsch.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” 

After I recited that quote to the class, I followed it with: “Whenever I’m trying to talk myself out of talking to someone about my faith or doing something I know I need to do, I take this into depth a little more.
ETERNAL life for someone else, may begin at the end of MY comfort zone.”

Second Peter 3:9 says “God is not really slow in keeping His promises, as some think, instead He is waiting patiently, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to repent.”

He’s waiting on us to do our job. Statistics say that in the United States 246,780,000 people are “Christians”.
That’s 75.9% of our population. Imagine if every single one of us decided to bring just ONE person to Christ. That would be all of the United States plus more. If we claim to love God, and claim to follow Him, then we can’t get comfortable. We need to step out of our comfort zones and DO what He has commanded us to do. A famous missionary in England C.T. Studd said “If Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

I want to leave my comfort zone, and all my human characteristics behind, fixing my eyes on Jesus.

Thriving for Him and His Kingdom.

Number 2. For Others.

This one hardly needs to be it’s own resolution because when we do for others we are planting seeds of His kingdom inside of them. When we truly love God, we love His people.
But adding to the first, I want to thrive for others this year. Seeing the needs that I am capable of meeting and meeting them with a smile.

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)

Another popular song whose lyrics always touch me is Do Something by Matthew West.
It starts with him talking about seeing the world and being disgusted with how broken it is, then asking “God, why don’t you do something?” and God answers “I did, I created you.” 

Yet another song that touches me (If you haven’t noticed by now, lyrics really speak to me) is With Every Act of Love by Jason Gray. Towards the end of the song he says “God put a million doors in the world for His love to walk through. One of those doors is you. 
…we bring the kingdom come, with every act of love.”

Number 3. In myself:

I want to thrive in every little thing I do.

In my walk with Christ, friendships, schoolwork, chores, extra curricular activities. 
Everything I do. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The LORD and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23) 

I want to be constantly thriving for my very best. Becoming like clay and allowing Him to mold me into all He has created me to be. (See Isaiah 64:8)

Knowing how easy it is to get caught up and slip into our comfortable ways, I’m sure you’ve had your share of “simply surviving” as well.

Ask your self the same question about how you’re living right now. Are YOU thriving? Or are you simply surviving? Are you giving only part of yourself to Him, or allowing Him to have every aspect of your life? 

I hope you decide this year and every year to thrive

God bless. 🙂

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