Someone once told me I was successful because of my "stinkin tenacity." I told him it was the grace of God. He said, "Yeah, but it's because you work hard." I said, "No, it's the grace of God." I don't think I was getting through to him. I know the difference between bearing fruit through grace vs. the "success" that comes from the stinkin tenacity of an over-achiever. I've experienced both.
With one you burn out... With the other you're a burning bush that burns, but never burns out.
With one your fuel is the approval of men... With the other your fuel is the grace of God that comes because He already approves of you (because of Jesus).
With one it’s from an outward motivation of performance... With the other it’s from an inward motivation of love.
With one you are rewarded for your stinkin tenacity... With the other you are rewarded for using the grace that God originally gave you.
With one your success is maintained by your self-effort... With the other your success is maintained by His grace.
With one your eyes are on the stats... With the other your eyes are on Jesus.
One is because you don't want to let people down... The other is because you don't want to let people die.
One you do to avoid guilt... The other is because grace is addictive and you want to experience more.
One you do to get closer to God... The other tells you that you're already are close to God.
One is because you have to... The other is because you want to.
One is about the numbers... The other is about the people.
One bears fruit to death... The other bears fruit to life.
One is temporary... The other is eternal.
With one YOU get the glory... With the other GOD gets the glory.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15:10)