Thursday, June 30, 2011

Being Verses Doing

Any dead fish can float downstream, but if we are going to swim against the current present in our culture, we must be alive spiritually. The New Testament is clear that life in Christ is countercultural. The world’s system says to get even if someone wrongs you. Christ says we should love and pray for our enemies and bless those who curse us (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:38). The world’s system says get what you can now because stuff is what gives us our identity. Christ says to store up treasures in heaven, not earthly ones that rust, break, and are stolen (Matthew 6:19-20).

The world also defines who we are by what we do. If someone says, “who are you?” we tend to respond by telling them what we have done. The Bible centers in on who we are in Christ. We are to express our identity in Christ by what we do but what we do does not make up our identity. We are not human doings, we are human beings. While being and doing are interrelated the order of them is very important. Our worth and identity cannot be determined by our achievements and accomplishments. Why? When we stop performing and producing then we would be worthless.

Here is a bold statement: you are not what you do. If that were true, then when you cease doing, you cease to be significant or important. You may work as a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or accountant but these are not who you are. After all, who were you before you did these things? Wearing many “hats” (doctor, coach, father, husband, friend, etc.) can leave you feeling schizophrenic. You may have many titles and responsibilities in this life (many hats) but you only have one being (one head). What you do must flow out of who you are.

Having your identity in Christ brings security and stability (Galatians 2:20). This brings true worth and meaning because who we are is founded on what God has done for and through us. Our external actions should stem from our internal being. To accomplish this, we must spend intimate time with Christ, allowing Him to restore, shape, fill, teach, and correct our old way of doing things (Acts 17:28). We need the inner power given only through the Holy Spirit to respond and deal with the outer world and pressures around us. When we spend time with Jesus and become more like Him, we gain power and right perspective to live and respond to the world around us.

How is your “being” when it comes to the Christian life? Is your “doing” shaped by your “being”? Your Christian life is not made up of your deeds for Christ but your relationship with Him. Deeds must flow out of relationship or you will be left empty. Your relationship with Christ precedes the works done for Him. Read and Romans 12:1-2 and allow Christ to shape your being. Your meaning and purpose is not found in the quest of self but in a relationship with God.

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