I hadn’t seen him in a while, so asked him how things were. “What’s happening, what’s new, what have you been doing lately?”
“Not much” he responded.
“Another boring week with Jesus, huh,” I replied, with a smile and a gentle poke at him.
A friend standing close by came to his rescue with, “He’s into being right now, not doing.”
Oh, I thought to myself, we are into some cool theology here.
Admittedly, this was not the first time I had come across the idea of pitting one biblical idea against another instead of seeing them both working together hand-in-glove. The verse that often comes to mind in these situations is Ecclesiastes 7:18, “It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes or will follow them both.”-NIV
I think I understand what he meant. His friend was focusing on his relationship with the Lord for a season and ramping down the “doing” side of things; but I still take issue with the concept of separating being and doing and focusing on one while putting the other aside; even for a time.
I am going to venture a guess that the person who says he is into doing without being will get lectured while the person who says he is into being without doing will get sympathy. I think they both need a lecture…from the Holy Spirit.
Being and doing are inseparably linked in scripture. You would have to remove huge chunks of Paul’s writings to take out the doing part of his epistles. Additionally, James 1:22-25 states that you can’t separate being and doing and Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27 makes it clear that the person in relationship with him who is not doing is building his life on sinking sand. I am into being right now without doing is sheer disobedience and an impossibility for a true disciple. We are always “being” and we are always “doing.” Philippians 2:12,13 forever links them together. We work out (doing) what God is working in (being).
We can also make the mistake of doing without being if our actions are not rooted in and motivated by my relationship with Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit instead of my own determination and will-power.
It works best biblically when I start with who I am in Jesus and then “do” out of that relationship. As Christians we never take a vacation from doing…from responding to God’s promptings/initiations. We will always get ourselves into trouble by an exclusive focus on either of them to the neglect of the other. Biblically speaking, I really can’t do without being, and I can’t be without doing.
What do you think?