Are you a human doing or a human being?
For me, I have spent much time being the former and missed out on being the latter. “Being” is a great word. To simply “be.” Generally speaking, I believe men have a harder time with this discipline than women. Most men seem to be wired to “do, do, do.” Perhaps we want to see that we have produced results. It is a sweeping generalization, but we can think of us men as the hunters. We want to slay the beast and drop it on the dinner table. Many women seem to have more patience and are willing to plant seeds, cultivate the soil, and grow a harvest to provide sustenance. My point is that, much of the time, men have more difficulty just “being.” So, if you are a man reading this, you should pay particular attention. And if you are a man who is a leader, even more so.
Let’s see what Scripture instructs in the process of “being.”
“Come and see what the Lord has done ... He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God ... I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us ...’” (Psalm 46:8-11 NIV) I hear this as a call to pause our busy lives, stop striving, and recognize God's sovereignty and presence. In a world that often values doing over being, these verses remind us that our identity and worth are not tied to our productivity.
Similarly, Jesus' words on this subject offer a powerful perspective on "being" in Him. And the result of that “being” is a deep, profound, restful peace. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) Jesus' yoke is easy, and His burden is light, suggesting that our doing should flow out of our being in Him, rather than being driven by our own efforts.
Being versus doing is a “Mary and Martha” comparison. Doing is not a sin, but being at the feet of Jesus is better. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV) Jesus said: “…–or indeed only one.” What do you think he meant there? What is the “one” thing that Christ cares that we most care about? I believe Christ is saying that we need to prioritize our relationship with God and being in His presence over getting caught up in the busyness of tasks and duties.
BEING IN CHRIST
Being in Christ is what empowers our doing (John 15:4-5). We must stay connected to the vine of Christ and be with Him on a daily basis. A daily quiet time before the Lord is one way to spend more time being with Christ. What are some other ways you can think of to improve in this area?
Lastly, in Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul explains that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works, so that no one can boast. However, he also says that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. This passage beautifully captures the essence of the relationship between being and doing - we are first and foremost God's creation, valued and loved, and out of this identity flows our action.
Christ teaches us that our worth and identity are not tied to our achievements or what we produce. He invites us to find rest, identity, and purpose in Him alone. All our actions should flow from our relationship with Him. As we focus on "being" in Him, our "doing" becomes more meaningful and aligned with His will.
We now see that this concept of "being" versus "doing" is deeply rooted in biblical teachings. The Bible emphasizes the importance of stillness, reflection, and understanding our identity in God, rather than just focusing on our actions or achievements.
Enjoy your “being” in the presence of Christ.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
January 19, 2024
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.