Being and Doing

Some of us don’t have to look very far to see a need for spiritual growth. I preach about the process on a weekly basis. And I think I even confuse myself between two types of sermons.

The first emphasizes “being.” I have to be in love with Jesus. I have to let the Holy Spirit change me from the inside out. This kind of sermon really connects with those who say, “we need more Marys.” We need people who think and feel deeply about God and His nature.

The second kind of sermon emphasizes “doing.” This is the sermon that says, “here are 4 things you can do” to help you grow. It really fits those “get it done” people who see the futility of “sitting around contemplating our navels.”

I know that both of these are extreme expressions of either side. But even in Christian publishing there are the “Purpose Driven Life” people who come up with plans for change and the “Crazy Love” people who just want us all to fall in love again.

I think the Scripture clearly communicates the importance of both. Being born again is a “being” kind of thing. There is a relationship that is necessary and foundational to anything we do for the Kingdom of God and glory of God. But you can’t really “be” without “doing.” “Doing is an expression of being.” Jesus said, “if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.” But not only that, “doing can develop being.”

Even Jesus demonstrated this in His warning to the Ephesian believers in Revelation 2. He said, “they had left their first love”. That’s a “being” thing. And he said, to get it back they needed to 1) remember the height from which they had fallen. 2) repent, and 3) do the things they did at first. That is a list of 3 “doings.”

Now, we must be careful never to think that our doing earns us God’s favor. His righteousness is a gift to us. But “being saved” means we can grow by “doing” His will. So, if you are a Christian who wants to grow spiritually, accept who God has made you to be and do something!

What new thing have you started to do? If you think about what God wants you to be, is there an action that can begin to reform your thinking and deepen your sense of being one of his?

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