As humans, we’re all about the doing. “What do you do?” is probably one of the most commonly asked questions in all of adulthood. “How are you doing in school?” would be one for the kids. We want to know about corporate ladders, report cards, beautiful and clean kitchens, good and kind deeds. We want to know “Do you breastfeed your baby or bottle feed him?”, “Do you work from home or an office?”, “Do you cook and have your house clean?”. Doing. It’s a big part of life. And we love to make it what life is ALL about.
I’ve found a word that means more to me than the doing. Being. We never ask, “How are you being?” But maybe we’d have deeper relationships and purer hearts if we did. Here’s what I mean. I want my kids to know how to do dishes, cook food, and do nice things for people. But what I want more is that they actually be friendly, be loving and kind, be generous, be brave, be worshippers, be lovers of Jesus, be world changers.
Being stems from what’s within. Doing is outward and, often, performance-driven. Being is when I catch my kids worshiping Jesus in their bedrooms when no one is around. Doing is when I ask them to do the dishes and they comply. Dishes may need done but worshiping Jesus in the secret place builds a better person.
More than instilling in my daughters how to do housework and good grades, I want to inspire them to be amazing, authentic, vulnerable women who love Jesus and people really well. If I have to choose between a friend who does housework or cooking really well, or one that is a true and loyal friend, I’ll chose the ‘is’ over the ‘does’ every day of the week. (Though the cooking thing is a draw…. Ha!)
Not that the doing isn’t valuable. It’s just that the being is more so. Doing is necessary here on earth. It won’t be heaven. In heaven, being is what matters. Being with Him. Enjoying Him and His kingdom. It won’t be about the next good work because good will emanate from Him. My kids’ eternity, my eternity, is all about the being. Never the doing. My life’s impact on this world is much more about my being who I am meant to be and much less about what I’m doing.
The doing may be necessary but the being is essential.