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Striving Vs. Trying: Words Have POWER

November 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

How many times have we heard that statement?  Now ask yourself, how many times or have I ever truly reflected on that statement and the deep meaning behind it?

Words have POWER! It has power because when one hears something repetitively it has the ability to coerce your most inner thoughts, persuade and even control ones soul.  It has an impact on the individual hearing it; positive or negative.  Words although invisible can be worn on a human like a badge of honor and the behaviors that an individual displays are a direct reflection of what those words mean to them.

Every person has a vision, goal or aspiration for their life.  It could be a vision professionally, a goal for their marriage and even the level of spirituality they would like to attain and far too often with things associated to goals around ones professional, academic or personal life; one usually has a clear action plan or strategic course of action in order to achieve that goal.  Yet for the most important aspect of an individual’s life which is ones spirituality; the action plan is left to words such as “I’ve failed so many times, I’m not worthy:, “it’s too hard”, “I’m too weak” or the famous one…”I’ll try to have a closer relationship with my creator versus I’m STRIVING to have a closer relationship with my creator.  So what I would like to do at this time is to take a closer look at what the difference is between the two and when using them in the context of our spirituality; how much of a difference it can and does make.

Webster’s Dictionary:

Try: Make an attempt to do something.

Strive: Make great efforts; struggle or fight vigorously.

Clearly you can see the difference between the two.  The word “try” seems to mean or could mean one attempt as the dictionary does not define the word “attempt” in the plural.  On the other hand striving is depicted as a verb; something that requires more than one attempt with respect to action as it says to fight vigorously for something and is described as a plural when it uses the word “efforts.”  So just in using the word strive versus try when thinking of our relationship with Allah, it shows that in our attempt to draw closer to our creator it requires ACTION(s) on our part, just not a thought or hope of doing so.  Understanding the meaning(s) of words provides us the power behind them; thus influencing our responses to them.

In the Qur’an it is written:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! That you should not serve the Shaitan?  Surely he is your open enemy, and that you should serve me; this is the right way.  And certainly he led astray numerous people from among you.  What! Could you not understand?  This is the hell with which you were threatened.

When something or someone threatens your well being, your reaction is to fight; should that not be more so your resolve when seeking to obtain the most important thing; our relationship and approval of our creator, knowing that we have an open enemy looking to deter us from this course of action?  We can feel the effects when constantly surrounded amongst negativity and our immediate reaction to it is to get as far away from it as possible.  Do we not hold those same sentiments when we have negative or doubtful self talk?  Understanding that words have an influence on us; let us make a commitment to no longer use the word “try” let us start today by utilizing the word strive in order for the body to follow in our journey of refining, purifying and reintroducing a better version of ourselves.

When you have that resolve along with our dua’s to Allah, we can further feel empowered with the words of Allah when he said, “Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you.  Walk towards me, I will run towards you.”

Again, illustrating that action is required on our part.  Every act first starts as a thought so we need to align our thoughts and dua’s in order to accomplish that action by using words that support the ultimate goal.  I once heard someone say something that I felt was so powerful and that was….”God loves you for who you are, but rewards you for what you do.”  (That recurring fight; the effort)

Yes, do we fall short each day?  Of course, we are imperfect beings; however, each day, each salat, each du’a is an opportunity to dust yourself off and try again.  THAT is the essence of striving versus JUST trying.   


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