Big Idea: Being without doing is devastating to the soul. When we focus on being without doing, it so frequently degenerates into self-worship. God offers us a radically different alternative modeled perfectly in Jesus Christ: a life of humble service rooted in the firm knowledge of who we are in God’s eyes.
I. The Western vision for life
A. Philosophically: Humanism – worshiping the created
B. Empirically: How is that working for us?
II. God’s alternative
A. It starts with God, not us.
B. Being comes from knowing who we are in Christ and in community.
C. Doing flows from who we are (indicative – imperative). God declares who we are (being/indicative) and then invites us to act in a manner consistent with who he has declared us to be.
1. You are loved by Christ, so love others self-sacrificially. (Ephesians 5:1)
2. You are children of the light, so, leave darkness. (Ephesians 5:8, Romans 13:12)
3. You are forgiven, so forgive. (Ephesians 4:32)
4. You are dead to sin, so do not live in it any longer. (Romans 6:2, 10-14)
5. You have been comforted, so extend comfort. (II Corinthians 1:3-4)
6. You have been reconciled, so be an agent of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:17-20)
D. This is perfectly modeled for us in Jesus’ life and ministry. (Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 9:35)
E. The Compassion Counseling Center: a case study on integrating being and doing
1) What form of worshiping the created seems most prevalent to you? Where do you see that today? Which do you think is the bigger issue, worship of self or worship of the environment?
2) Are people more depressed today than in the past? If so, is that because we are doing things differently? Or is it because we are so much better at detecting and diagnosing problems? Can you see a breakdown of community structures? If so, how do you see that impacting people?
3) Why does God link doing to being? Why does he command us to do for others what He has done for us? Is God’s love unconditional, or are there strings attached?
4) Which of the indicative/ imperative statements jumps out at you?
(We are... loved, so love; forgiven, so forgive; reconciled, so reconcile; comforted, so comfort; dead to sin, so don’t sin; we are children of the light so, leave dark behaviors)
Why does that statement jump out at you? How do you live that out?
5) What is your biggest struggle in trying to integrate being with doing?
Is it hard to feel compassion for the hurting? Do you have a hard time feeling what God’s word says about you? Do you feel rooted in your identity in Christ? Do you feel compassion but don’t know how to constructively address the problems you see?
6) What ministry involvement are you engaged in that integrates being with doing?
Have you thought about doing something like volunteering for the Compassion Counseling Center?