On Being vs. Doing

If you are Christian, the twin goals of your life should be the expansion of the kingdom of God on earth and becoming conformed to the image of Christ.  (Matthew 6:33). That means one of your goals should be to live WWJD.

In modern Christendom there seems to be more of an emphasis on being rather than doing. Being is more mystical and attractive to post-moderns who have rejected the religiousness of an older generation and its attendant hypocrisy. Being professes no standard and thus risks no hypocrisy.

Doing holds up a standard and thus risks not attaining it. It’s this failure–a failure inevitable in a fallen world–that has led so many Christians to reject it as a means to sanctification and so many non-Christians to reject it as an ends.

To non-Christians, the words of G.K. Chesterton are appropriate, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

To the Christian, the Apostle John says, “…whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God…” (I John 3:10).

I played basketball from the time I had the strength to hoist a ball above my head. I played in elementary school, junior high and in high school. I wanted to be a college basketball player, so I practiced.

In high school, after classes, basketball practice with the team and then dinner, I would go out back and practice. I was already on the high school basketball team, but I wanted to be a real player, a college player, so I practiced. It was an intentional thing. I didn’t just say, “I’m a basketball player and I just need to realize what all that means so I can be better.” Instead, I practiced.

I practiced a lot; more, in fact, than the other players on my team, who seemed more content with the title than the ideal. Ultimately, I became a scholarship college basketball player; none of my high school classmates did.

When I pray, I look at the shortcomings in my life and compare them against the ideal: Jesus. I then make a conscious effort to change my patterns of conduct and attitudes. I practice righteousness. And, just like with basketball, the more I practice, the closer I get to the goal. GS

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