Quote: Doing or Being?

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.”

– Thomas Merton

It has always bothered me that in this world I am valued based on what I can do for someone else. The truth is that my value should be based on my relationship to God. The most important thing I can “do” is simply to “be” with God. In this way He is able to transform me into His image and create new thoughts, dreams, attitudes, and desires within me. It is by “being” with Him that I actually become more valuable. My efforts, the things I “do,” often end up as a “chasing after the wind,” but I have never regretted my time of “being” with God.

4 Replies to “Quote: Doing or Being?”

  1. I agree, it might be nice to be valued based on our relationship with God…on the flip side, it might not! If we think our relationship with God somehow surpasses the things we "do", or that there is some discrepancy between the way others see us and the way we see ourselves…where does the disconnect lie? As far as I can tell, if we are valued at all by others, it will most certainly be in the things that are tangible and evident, such as the things we say and do, and not in the "thoughts, dreams, attitudes, and desires" within us…divinely inspired or otherwise. I think the trick is (and as always – easier said than done!) for us not to give weight to others valuations of us at all…that maybe this creates a distorted and ugly self reflection, one that is based on opinions and assumptions…this is what Satan wants! The real value we have is in Christ Jesus right? …and even though we can't see the perfect forms He intended for us, He assures us that He his original concept of us was flawless…and what better value do we need? We can't attain it on this Earth, but we'll get closer with Him than we ever will with each other…thanks for sharing Steve & Justin

  2. I really didn't mean to pick a fight on this one! I just like to talk about this kind of stuff!I didn't really mean to get caught up in the syntax of what you wrote earlier; I'm taking a logic class right now, so I have logic on the brain! But as far as value, I think that when we start viewing human worth as a result of a relationship with God, it is so much easier to drive those who are interested in God away. I think that a relationship with God makes a person no more humanly valuable than a relationship with God makes God more valuable. God is completely fulfilled in the fact that God is God, just in the way that people should be valued simply for the fact that they are people. But, I realize this is idealism at its finest!People will always value people by their skills and 'potential benefits' for the same reason that God values all people:God chooses to let people choose. God allows people to choose their goals, ambitions, religion; the list goes on and on. Thus, people always choose what they value in life and, accordingly, in other people. By allowing choice, God shows God's value of choice. Because God allows choice, true love is possible. Because true love is possible,God shows that God has incredible strengths: the power to love, as well as the power to suffer. This shows that the ultimate human value is universal in the power of choice, in that God allows everyone to choose God, as well as honors their decision.The longer I type, more ideas come up! This is a really interesting topic…

    1. God believed they were valuable enough to send Jesus who would die for them (and me too). “For God so loved the world…” I do believe that I become more valuable to other people as I am transformed into Jesus’ likeness by being with Him. O…ther people may not know it, recognize it, or believe it, but that doesn’t make it untrue. However, I also believe God is able to transform even those who have rejected Him. Interestingly enough, I believe He does draw sinners to Himself (Jn 6:44) and in doing so, He makes them more valuable to others too.

      Justin, you sure like to pick fights, but I’m not going to get into one over semantics. My issue has to do with the way that other people “value” us and your “logic” does not follow in that it has to do with our ultimate value to God. Although I would agree with your point, it is still classic false logic that hinges on semantics similar to: God is love. Love is blind. Ray Charles is blind. Therefore, Ray Charles is God.

      Thanks for making me think about the way I say things a bit more though. It’s good for me.

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