When it comes to serving God, are you a “Be-er” or a “Do-er?” Do-ers focus more on what and how much they are getting to do for the Kingdom of God, while Be-ers tend to focus on having a right heart, whatever God may have them doing. Do-ers want to know that what they are doing matters. Be-ers want to know that their hearts are right before God while serving, whatever the results. When importance is placed on either being or doing, clashes can come between Be-ers and Do-ers as they work together. When arguments arise:
Do-ers love: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
Be-ers love: “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3)
Not Enough Be
Obviously one can “be” in a very bad state of mind and heart and still “do” outwardly for God. An extreme example is in Matthew 7:22 where we read, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name…” Some will do great things, but with wrong intentions, thus the motive is not for the Lord. For a less extreme example, when our church once formed an “evangelism team,” we were given squeegees, windshield wiper water and cards from the church that read something like, “It was a pleasure serving you. If we can do anything else to help you, please don’t hesitate to call us at…” We went to the parking lot of a rather busy mall and washed windshields and placed the card under the wiper on the driver’s side while shoppers were inside shopping.
The do-ers in the group felt that this wasn’t really evangelism, while the be-ers were more content with the event. The do-ers really felt that very little to nothing was done by way of evangelism. The be-ers, while agreeing that it wasn’t really “evangelism” in word, that the action of love could be a door opener for future opportunities to tell the gospel to these individuals. Action would be useless in God’s eyes if us do-ers were doing so without God’s love, joy, peace and etc. As a do-er, our focus on doing could make us miss what was actually accomplished.
Too Much Be
Conversely, anyone who focuses solely on “being” for God may hesitate when something should be “done.” An extreme example would be the parable of the nobleman who returns to find out what investments his servants had gained for him. (Luke 19:12-27) A more day-to-day example would be whenever we’ve hesitated to enter into someone’s painful situation simply because we didn’t feel “prayed up” or “centered on God.” A do-er is more likely to do something anyway, just from seeing the need and responding. Be-ers can miss the opportunity to bless because we don’t feel that we have anything to offer. In the end, it would be God’s word and encouragement that would have been offered anyway.
In practice, the be-er needs to be just as ready to “do” or else miss opportunities to serve, while the doer needs to “be” right in heart, lest their so called “ministry” fails to move forward (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Praise the Lord, that His Holy Spirit doesn’t let us become trapped as only a be-er or a do-er. The be-ers won’t just be satisfied while doing nothing; nor will the do-ers find continual satisfaction in traipsing through God’s church; trampling over His children, just to “get things done” for Jesus.
Our American culture is very “doing” centric; we are driven by accomplishments, tasks and busyness. But if God were to move us into another culture that is less time and performance oriented, the skill of “being” would be much more emphasized and accepted. In order to grow into the fullest self that God desires for us, we must acknowledge and encourage the good of those who are opposite of our natural ability and challenge ourselves to hold accountable those who fall in the same place as us along the spectrum.
Jesus is both a be-er and a do-er. With Jesus the two in ministry are one. We need to ask God to change us, if we fall too far into one or the other category. If we’re in Christ, then whether we’re a “do-er” or a “be-er,” He is going to keep working out of each of us and work into us both of these qualities.