What if I told you that the Christian life is full of “Do-Nothing” opportunities? How would you respond? Would you tell me that “we have to be doing the Lord’s work” or would you say, “That’s cool”? How do you feel about doing absolutely nothing? How do you feel about doing everything? No matter your view, did you know that the Christian life really is a “do-nothing” mindset?
The traditional view in the American church is to “do the Lord’s work” and “evangelize the lost”. Are we called to do that work? Absolutely. Unfortunately, today most Christians have one of two views:
- Do nothing and live life (or)
- Do everything and complain about those who aren’t doing as much as you.
Both of these views are not only detrimental to the health of the church, but both are rooted in pride. The first one is concentrated on our life. The “Do Nothing and Live Life” attitude says “I am a Christian. I don’t need to serve. I don’t need the church. I can go to various churches every week and no one should care that I do that.”
The second view is just as bad. It says “If you aren’t doing something for God every day you aren’t a real Christian. If you don’t serve one local body, you can’t be a committed Christian. You have to do serve just like me.”
Think about it for a minute. The first attitude allows people to just do whatever they want, whenever they want and never make a commitment to people. The second attitude allows people to do things they don’t like to do for people they don’t care about with time they don’t have. Are they committed to people as well? No. Some might think that because they do everything, that God will say, “Hey you did everything, burnt yourself out so here’s a bonus.” That simply is not true.
The Christian life is a “Do-Nothing” mindset. The focus is not on the action or inaction but on the last word “mindset”. In Jesus’ day, He spoke with very highly regarded religious leaders who did everything. They sacrificed as necessary by the Mosaic laws, they followed all 600+ rules and regulations handed down to them by their teachers. They organized and did everything. Yet through all this, Jesus called them a “brood of vipers”. So what was Jesus saying to them? In the simplest of terms Jesus was saying, “It doesn’t make a difference how much you do. All that make the difference to me is that you believe in me. Just because you do a lot of stuff doesn’t mean anything. Your attitude towards Me is what counts.”
So where does the “Do-Nothing” fit in? Well in the same breath that Jesus was telling those who did everything, Jesus also said, “If you love me, you will do as I do.” Did Jesus do nothing? Well, He turned water into wine. He healed the sick. He fed the hungry and in the book of John, we read that not all the works of Christ were documented as there would be too many stories to write. However, through it all, Jesus had the “Do-Nothing” mindset.
Just before his death, Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. As He prayed listen to the content of His prayers:
- John 17:4 – “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (NIV 1984)
- John 17:6 – “I have revealed youto those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.” (NIV 1984)
- John 17:20-21 – “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (NIV 1984)
Did Jesus say, “May they believe and do nothing?” No. In fact, Jesus many times spoke to people about “doing the Father’s work.” However, Jesus’ attitude is also in His teachings and prayers. In John 15, Jesus is explaining His death to His disciples. He explains that He and the Father are One and encouraged them to do the work of the Father because they love Him. In reality, the “Do-Nothing” mindset is relying on God completely, realizing that we can do nothing without Him but work diligently because we love Him.
There are many examples of the “Do-Nothing” mindset. When Peter walked on the water, he had to do some action (walk) but the reality was God was enabling Peter to walk on water. When Moses was to lead Israel out of Egypt, God enabled Moses but God did the work. He led them with a pillar of clouds by day and a flame by night. When David killed Goliath, David threw the stone, but God guided it to the giant’s head with such velocity that the giant died instantly. The question is, “Are we doing for the sake of doing or are we doing out of love for God?”
When we act because God loves us we have less stress and more joy. We become content with what we do and less satisfied with external success. When we act out of our own strength, stress increases, joy leaves, contentment is nowhere to be found and we try to do many things to satisfy our longings.
What do you love to do? Do you love God more? If so, then do what you love to do for the One you love more. Don’t let action or inaction get in the way of your relationship with God. In the next blog, I’ll share how to discover the will of God in your life. God Bless and encourage someone today.