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Christian Counseling - Doing Versus Being

It's fairly easy to lose perspective and get trapped by busyness and a "doing" mentality. The never-tiring voices of career and home beckon "Give me a little more time and attention." Like "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing" (Ecclesiastes 1:8b), so too the tempters of career and home seduce us through imagination into believing that more is better, and that doing or accomplishing can build esteem, enhance our reputation, and relieve us of guilt that comes from the possible failure to satisfy the wants and demands of those around us. But the grievous taskmaster of doing is a liar.

Like an addiction, doing is never satisfied and its appetite is insatiable. Once the adrenal glands are on full alert they drive us to perform, to do. Their bodies cooperate with the false prophet who steals also our minds and hearts, our very lives, through the addictive, but hated pace and the have-to's (I have to go this...stop it perfectly, etc.). Over time its victims are mercilessly led to the edge of the cliff of exhaustion. This kind of life is not what God had or has in mind, nor is it one we could ever agree with because we know something is terribly wrong. We know that kind of life is not life at all. It is drifting mindlessly through the motions, until we are suddenly shocked by the passage of decades, wondering how how our brief and precious lives secretly slipped away.

What happens when people become sick or elderly and can't rely on doing, what then? All this for what? For a little esteem, a little less guilt, a little better reputation in our own mind's eye? Perhaps some think gaining a little is better than gaining nothing and having to carry around some bad feelings of inadequacy and a lack of worth. Perhaps they don't know there is an alternative to the fast-paced, bone-tiring and truly ungodly life of only doing.

"Being!" "Being" is the alternative. Alphabetically, philosophically and biblically, being comes before doing. My blog on December 3rd ("Works is the Apple Proving the Type of Tree") refers to the necessity of faith first and works second; that works is meant only to be done as an outgrowth of faith. You can't get to heaven by works--God's heaven or the one on earth we are trying to establish. In the same way, being is first and doing is second.

Being, as faith, is about character. It is about who you are and not about what you do. It is also about learning to feel good about you and not the things you do. Your character is the only thing you will take with you when you leave this earth. It is the only thing that can't be taken from you or decay. It is one of the unseen things Colossians 3:1,2 tell us to focus on in our lives. Once you have developed a certain characteristic it is yours, unlike doing, which must be repeated over and over.

To say it differently, "be"come like Jesus, the person He was and is. This is God's will for us all. When we become the person we should and want to be we will have gained right perspective, the incorruptible esteem, the lasting good reputation and freedom from guilt because our value is not works dependent.

Finally, Christians are "in Christ." It is about who you are, about being born-again and not about works that get you there. Faith leads us to trust in God's words that He sees us as perfect or complete in His Son, first because of His 30 years of character development (i.e., sinless) and second because of His three years of works (i.e., died for our sins). Our works are secondary to person we are, and it is there in this proper order that we find rest from the false promises of doing who proclaims to be king. The true king is being.

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