“What we want to do is not nearly as important as what we want to be.” — Charles R. Swindoll
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” — Bible (Colossians 3:17)
John and Jane were very involved in their church and in many community activities. They made sure that their children were plugged into numerous “educational” opportunities, be it sports or dance or music, whatever. They were always doing something. Even though the whole family was busy all the time, John and Jane somehow didn’t feel fulfilled.
Doing is what you do. It’s the actions you take. It’s the decisions you make. It’s your behavior and all its visible manifestations.
Being is who you are. It’s what’s underneath all of the doing. It’s your qualities, your thought patterns and your conditioning. It’s the pattern of beliefs that you hold about yourself and your environment. It’s your worldview.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
“Doing is usually connected with a vocation or career, how we make a living. Being is much deeper. It relates to character, who we are, and how we make a life. Doing is tied in closely with activity, accomplishments, and tangible things – like salary, prestige, involvements, roles, and trophies. Being, on the other hand, has more to do with intangibles, the kind of people we become down inside, much of which can't be measured by objective yardsticks and impressive awards. But of the two, being will ultimately outdistance doing every time. It may take half a lifetime to perfect . . . but hands down, it's far more valuable. And lasting. And inspiring.” — Chuck Swindoll.
There is an interesting passage in the Bible that seems to go counter to our current culture’s drive for being busy. In Matt 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
It sounds like these people were doing lots of good things, but apparently not in Jesus’ eyes. He said the important thing was doing the will of His Father. OK. What is that? The Old Testament lists the Ten Commandments and then a lot of other laws which we are supposed to obey. However, Jesus said the most important commandment is to love – God and your neighbor. Discussions are never-ending about what we are supposed to do to love others, but let me suggest that the essence of the most important commandment is an attitude which recognizes others for who they are and not what they do.
It is wonderful – and rare – to meet a person who you sense just enjoys being with you – and you with them. You know that they have their faults, and that they are aware of your faults. And yet there is a oneness between the two of you. You don’t have to prove anything to them. You don’t have to try to be something other than yourself. You almost feel like they are an extension of yourself. You want to love and care for them as yourself. You can sense their inner feelings and are able to empathize with them and speak concern and care into their lives.
I use the word “rare” above to refer to this kind of relationship, and yet that’s God’s plan for your marriage, and it works when you focus on applying the most important commandment to your marriage.