Being & Doing
Knowing that our basic calling is to pursue God more than doing something for Him or for the world. Losing this focus we lose everything.
Our doing must flow from our being. When God created – His being preceded His doing. And as people made in the image of God our being should define our doing. Unfortunately our fallenness reversed this. And the influences of modernity are such that today even our education and work-culture are geared to make us doers. It is sad that even God’s children define themselves by what they do including those in the ‘ministry’! Today we define and regard people by their professions and by their college degrees not by their character. People respect and define you for your degrees, designation, power, material possessions, caste, family background and not because of good virtues. It is because of this reason people including God’s children chase these things. And finding that these do not bring true satisfaction – they think they must get into ministry, not understanding that even doing ‘ministry’ is a wrong focus. We ought to be defined by who we are and not by what we do. We are humans made in the image of God and loved by Him so much that he redeemed us by his own blood when we were lost. We are now sons of God, His heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. We are to be defined by our creation and by our redemption.
Redemption is about restoring this. God is working in us to build character and virtue. But we still want to chase activity. This is what explains today’s mad rush for busyness and activity-driven lifestyles. People want to fill their dairies and calendars with busy schedules. We are constantly under the pressure to perform. We think to be dynamic is to be busy. J P Moreland writes about empty selves in ‘Love your God with all your mind’ “According to (Roy) Baumeister the self used to be defined in terms of internal traits of virtue and morality, and the successful person, the person of honour and reputation, was the person with deep character. In such a view, the cultivation of an interior life through intellectual reflection and spiritual formation was of critical importance. In the last few decades, however, the self has come to be defined in terms of external forces – the ability to project a pleasurable, powerful personality and the possession of consumer goods – and the quest for celebrity status, image, pleasure, and power has become the preoccupation of a self so defined.” Quietness, silence and solitude are forgotten. Men like Moses, Paul etc needed to spend time in the wilderness before they could DO anything for Him. God was putting character into them – making them to BE the people He wanted them to BE. But today among the people of God – even before we understand what we are in Christ – the pressure upon us is to perform and so people want to DO ministry. This is the outcome of institutionalisation of ministry. Which itself is a result of the influences of secularisation and modernity upon Christianity. This is the reason why I do not agree with the present rush for doing ministry among the people of God. People want to do or get into ministry even before they understand what it means to follow Christ. Nor do I agree with all that is going on in the name of ministry. If we learn to live in fellowship with Him and enjoy Him – as a result of such fellowship with Him we cannot but respond to any need around us. It is this response that constitutes ministry. Today many children of God are placed under the pressure to ‘do ministry’ even before they know such fellowship or even before they have been shaped by Him to the Be the people they ought to BE. Therefore we must just encourage people to first learn to walk with the Lord and live and enjoy their relationship with Him – any ministry that we ought to do will flow from that dynamic.
This is the reason why one of my concerns in the next few years, God helping me, is going to be to create a facility where people can spend in silence and solitude – enjoying His presence and seeing themselves as God sees them.