There is just one little letter and a whole way of living between strife and strive. One is very negative and the other very positive.
Strife means to be angry or have bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict; and to quarrel and fuss and fight. I have found that most people who live for strife… enjoy it, or at least they think they do. They look for conflicts, quarrels, disagreements and offenses about politics, religion, sports, media or whatever… anything and anyway to get and stay agitated.
Strive means to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something; or to struggle or fight vigorously for some object or goal. We strive when we make extra effort and put out special time and energy to gain something. Paul, an apostle, wrote to the Philippian church, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” We are called to strive together in one spirit and one mind for the faith of the gospel.
It seems to me that strife usually has to do with being self-centered and striving usually has to do with our efforts for others.
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Jesus