"Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action." - Dallas Willard
As a life coach, I'm all about goals and action steps.
Action is necessary. Praying over and over for my health is no good if I'm not eating to nourish my body and exercising to strengthen my body.
The idea of sitting still and waiting on God to do something isn't natural to me. I want to move, build, plan, discuss, and ideate when things go wrong (or really anytime).
Action is necessary if I am going to move forward. Attitude (motivation) is what matters in how I move forward.
When I approach growth from a stance of duty or guilt, from a place of needing to earn my way, I inflict pain on myself and maybe even others because of that attitude. Approaching growth from a place of love, acceptance and grace is the better way. Effort is necessary for change. An attitude or motivation of earning hinders long term, healthy change.
When I see myself as worthy of love, I put love on my plate in the form of nourishing foods. When I see myself as strong, I lift heavy weights because I enjoy it and because I'm amazed at what my body can do. When I see myself through grace, I give myself the gifts of fun and rest willingly, because I become more my true self in those moments of delight and ease.
What does your approach to growth look like? Is it strenuous and tiring? Is it encouraging?
How do you need to adjust your attitude or motivation to make lasting and healthy change?