Now that we’ve defined what an ‘all or nothing’ effort entitles, can you see these parallels in your life? Just rethink or reread Part I and the message at hand. Particularly, living our lives through an ‘all or nothing’ mentality and effort, only to realize, in the end, what we were striving for, is only finite accomplishments, only superficial absurdity. So let me as you this. If we aren’t suppose to be living this way, how should we be living?
CON is the answer. As some of you may already have guessed, a ‘Christ or nothing’ effort is what we should be striving for.
Granted there are many, many circumstances God wants us to strive for our ultimate selves, strive for doing our best, but we simply shouldn’t be extrinsically motivated. We shouldn’t be motivated to fill the empty space on our shelves to place a trophy or medal. Superficial extrinsic motivation is not the answer. Just like with our fitness and exercise goals, we shouldn’t always be focused on “feel good” pictures, but instead, much deeper, more lasting consequences of such lifestyle changes. Exercise and a healthy diet is beneficial to not only aesthetics, but also to overall physical longevity. In other words, because we’re (Americans) are heavily focused on the immediate, short-term, we’re not always thinking down the road, to the consequences of tomorrow, to what we choose to do today will what we be in the future. We choose our healthy lifestyles yes maybe for aesthetics, but most importantly, we chose it to reap the future benefits, later in life. To keep up with our children, to fend off diseases, to maintain a healthy, active body, and the list continues.
Our fitness, exercise, nutrition, or weight lifting goals and accomplishments shouldn’t be the sole purpose of why we continue to pursue these healthy choices. Our ‘all or nothing’ effort is highly encouraged in some instances, if, and only if, we aren’t controlled by simply the results, especially the temporary, short-lived results.
I know the aforementioned may sound counterintuitive, but understand, we must live our lives to the fullest not to be continually pushed forward from one job to the next, from one city to the next, one education to the next, one certification to the next, in which these temporary highs, these “honeymoon moments” are what gets us by each day. Instead, we need, we should be investing our time, our effort into the one and only Lord and Savior, when put first, He will provide all things we need! Matthew 6:33 states “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Remember, I’m not saying an ‘all or nothing’ effort is a bad thing, but instead, recognizing a difference between an ‘Christ or nothing’ effort, where all things are done for Him and Him alone, or simply driven by temporary rewards. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 3:14.
One is everlasting, one isn’t, you decide what kind of effort you’ll put forward!