Monday, February 1, 2010

Being and Doing

I came across the following quote this morning (thanks to Anne Jackson at and it sparked some thoughts I wanted to share with you.

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for
what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness” Thomas Merton

I have been working through this very same issue in my life for a while. Through reading scripture, reading other books and listening to what some Godly people have had to say, I have been focusing my life on being as well as on doing. I have been challenged by others to dive into this issue, but the thought seems to come and go with seasons of life.

The concept of valuing “being” and “doing” is counter-cultural for Americans. We are a nation founded by people who thrived on rugged individualism and a high work ethic. For us, accomplishment is something to be rewarded and we like to hold up our “finished products.” It is so much easier to measure something that is done than it is to measure something that simply is.

Being and doing are both valuable. They are scriptural mandates for everyone who follows Christ. Jesus told the woman in John 4 that it was “truth” (being) that mattered in her worship of God. The book of James tells us that our “actions” (doing) must match our faith. It is not an “either or” but a “both and” situation. We are to have a life of being that is reflective, focused spiritually, and transformed by the Spirit of God. We are to then have actions in our life that reflect the love of God outward toward people and that meets the needs of those around us.

This week, “be” and “do.” Allow your life to be one that values the soul and allows the inner beauty of God to reflect the outer actions of his work in your life.

1 comment:

Anne Jackson said...

thank you so much for the requote!