Monday, January 4, 2021

To Do or To Be?

 By Andrea Merrell


The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.

People judge by outward appearance,

but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 NLT


William Shakespeare wrote, “To be or not to be?” Now, that’s a loaded question.

The problem is we generally focus on the doing instead of the being. I live by a to-do list, but I’ve never taken the time to make out a to-be list. “Yet,” as Chris Tiegreen says, “at some level or another, what we do is always a product of who we are. Our nature produces our actions.Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23 NLT).

Tiegreen goes on to say:

Since that’s the case, it seems that we would pay particular attention to who we are—our hearts, our core issues, the nature God is working into our spirits. But we don’t. The action items seem more urgent and pressing. They shout more loudly. They demand that we meet deadlines and live up to responsibilities. In a culture of productivity, most of those around us demand that we produce. They don’t care what’s going on inside us as long as we get results. God cares more about the heart than about the results, mainly because if the heart is right, the results will come naturally. Sooner or later, we do what we are. We may be able to fake it for a while, but inner character eventually shows.

God always works on us from the inside-out—not the other way around. We can be so busy doing what He’s called us to do that we forget about being who He has called us to be.

As we enter a New Year, let’s take Shakespeare’s question to heart. To be or not to be? 

Yes! Let’s be all we can be for God's glory.


(Photo courtesy of and Stuart Miles.)


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  1. I love the words "Sooner or later, we do what we are. We may be able to fake it for a while, but inner character eventually shows." How revealing is that, but so true. Thanks for your weekly devotions. I look forward to them each week. Have a blessed day, Andrea.

  2. Thank you so much, Sheryl. I loved that line too. It's like the analogy about the glass of water that gets bumped. The only thing that can come out of it is water ... because that's what's in it. Out of the abundance of the heart ... Blessings to you in the New Year. :)