To Be or Not to Be?

by Joan C Webb on October 18, 2009

Lord, what do you want me to do? is a valid question, but sometimes we emphasize this query more than the essential one: Lord, who do you want me to be? When concentrating primarily on doing without allowing time to consider who I’m becoming, I can get over-tired and agitated. It’s a vicious cycle. I do, but it doesn’t always produce the peace I crave, so I conclude I should do more.

According to the Excellence vs. Perfectionism Chart in The Relief of Imperfection[i], when you and I chase for perfection (striving too hard to make it just right) our lives are shaped on the pursuit of doing. Yet, when we partner with God for excellence—enjoying quality in balance—our lives focus on the pursuit of being.

This reminds me of when Jesus’ followers asked, “What does God want us to do?” Jesus replied, “The work God wants you to do is believe.”*  Jesus offers you and me relief from the performance merry-go-round. He assures us that God wants us to be—to be a believing person. We believe that He sent Jesus to show us his love. It doesn’t mean we neglect action. Doing flows naturally out of being. We can learn to be first and then do.

Lord, today I’ll hit the pause button on my over-doing so I can get quiet enough inside to acknowledge the growing faith within me.

Making It Personal: Who are you becoming?

*  John 6:28-29: What are the things God wants us to do? Jesus answered, “The work God wants you to do is this: to believe in the One that God sent.” (NCV)

This post is devotion #3 in my recently-released book, It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life.

[i]Joan C. Webb, The Relief of Imperfection (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2007)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Markins October 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Joan, this is so simply and clearly stated, even I got the message! Thanks for the reminder that we need (on an on-going basis) to just Be Still and let Him live in us.

Joan C Webb October 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Hi Diane,
Thanks for your comments. Ahhh–to “be” on a more consistent basis. That is the simple desire.
Have a good week,

Denise Miller Holmes October 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm

A friend and I were just talking about this. Her sister is enslaved to perfectionism. She is so invested in the belief that the only way to be loved is to perform, and her life consists of walking on thin ice and striving after perfection. I just wish I could convince my friend’s sister that she is loved, no matter what.

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