Stop Striving and Be Grateful


One morning during my prayer time, God spoke something into my spirit: Be still and stop striving.

Stop striving? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? Shouldn’t I always be seeking to do more? Am I not to continually be growing and striving to be all I can be and do all I can do?

But apparently, that’s not what God meant. He asked me, “If you never attained anything else, could you be satisfied?”

Hmmm….to be honest, it’s not a mindset I practice enough. But I suppose if all He wanted me to do was to be still and stop striving, yes, I could be satisfied with where I am in my life.

What God wanted me to understand is how being fruitful in this life doesn’t require striving. God wants us to enjoy an easier pace of life so we can be all He created us to be. Jesus said, “All I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” (Matthew 11:30 TPT)

I realized that sometimes I get caught up in the energy of always wanting more than I have now. But if I stop to think about it, always wanting more is an indication of feeling like I don’t have enough, which can stem from a state of emotional deprivation.

My coach and mentor, Barbara Huson, talked about this in her recent article, Beware of Always Wanting More. She once considered perpetual wanting a sign of healthy ambition, too. It’s a gray area that needs to be navigated with the utmost self-awareness if we don’t want to fall into the trap of deprivation thinking.

Living in a chronic state of deprivation comes from not having our emotional needs met in childhood. It’s a pattern that dangerously repeats itself throughout our adult years if we don’t intentionally rewire it.

A child needs assurance that they are accepted, valued, and loved unconditionally. When we don’t get this assurance from our primary caregivers, it sets us up for a lifetime of continually trying to fill a bottomless pit of yearning, which leads to perpetual striving.

It can plague every area of life, but mainly I see it in the area of money relationships when I’m working with clients. It was the driver behind my chronic debt pattern back before I was aware of the connection between emotional deprivation and chronic debt.

Almost always, emotional deprivation is behind chronic debt and compulsive shopping. It isn’t until we heal our souls that we can replace deprivation with wholeness, gratitude, and fulfillment.


A quote from Oprah Winfrey sums this up nicely,

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”


Barbara Huson says if we’re not careful, by always wanting more, we’ll inadvertently strengthen the neural pathway in our brain of “not enough,” which will perpetuate the experience of not having enough.

As I sat there during my prayer time with God, He reminded me of all the ways I am already blessed. Then I remembered, isn’t this the way we cultivate abundance in our lives? By appreciating what we already have. Then from this place of gratitude and fulfillment, we can receive more of God’s goodness. Then we can fulfill our desires for more from a posture of grace and ease, not deprivation and lack.





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