What is the very first question people ask after they meet someone new? “So, what do you do?” We tend measure others by what they “do”. If they have a prestigious career or make a lot of money we immediately have a higher opinion of them. If they do something very common we are less impressed. “You’re a real rocket scientist Bill? WOW! And, you’re a stay at home home Jill?” Turning back to Bill, “So tell me Bill, what’s it like working at NASA?”
This evening some High School friends dropped by and we were catching up on all the friends each of us had lost track of. One that came up in the conversation has become a hopeless drunk that can’t keep a job and his younger brother has to pay all his bills and give him an allowance. On the other hand another manages a billion dollar investment fund and owns a 10 million dollar yacht. He was spoken of in glowing terms. It was hard for me to be impressed. He has always been self-centered, shallow and narcissistic. I found myself far more interested in taking about his boat than about him. But then I do like boats and… I don’t like him. The fact that his boat is worth $9,995,000 more than mine does not make him smarter, better or more significant than me. Not that I sound jealous or defensive anything. After all, he who has the most toys when he dies…still dies.
God’s words to Joshua as he took the mantle from Moses are very revealing to what should really be important in life. “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. BE strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only BE strong and very courageous, that you may observe to DO according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. Have I not commanded you? BE strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:6-9)
Three times God tells Joshua who he should BE (strong and courageous) while he is observing to DO. The promise is also clear that this is the pattern that leads to true success and prosperity. The question therefore should not be, “So what do you DO”, but “So, who do you BE?” Maybe not the best grammar, but clearly that is what really determines our true worth and value.
The world seems to be obsessed with the likes of Donald Trump and Paris Hilton. I am too…because I love to make fun of them. All the money in the world and the poor Donald can’t get a decent haircut. And Paris, well she’s just an idiot in my books. Yes, I know Jesus still loves her. Thank you for reminding me.
Few of my heroes ever made any money. They are the Albert Schweitzer’s and Mother Theresa’s of history. Both gave there lives to serve others. Schweitzer spending 40 years in the Congo and Mother Theresa even longer in Calcutta, India. Interesting though that both were awarded Nobel prizes. What they did,was clearly a reflection of who they were, and even the world took notice.
We do not have to go to Africa or India to start to BE before we DO. We simply have to determine who we want to BE regardless of what we do. If we are in business are we going to BE honest? If we are employees are we going to BE hard working? If we have position and power are we going to BE humble? You get the picture.
NFL fans will know the name Kurt Warner. He’s lead his team to the Super Bowl 3 times. Most recently this year with the upstart Arizona Cardinals. In 1999 and 2001 it was the St Louis Rams. Both years he won the Most Valuable Player.
Kurt Warner is far more than a football sensation. In 1999 Family Magazine named him Father of the Year. He has 7 Kids. His youngest Zach is blind and mentally handicapped. Kurt describes him, “Everything is a struggle for him. He falls ten times a day and gets up and exudes joy. For me to get down on myself for throwing an interception would be a joke.” So when Kurt was Introduced at 1999 NFL banquet as “a football player who is also a Christian.” He went to the mic and responded, “I would rather BE a Christian, who just happens to play football”.
So, who do you be?