"Human Being" or "Human Doing"?

Keith Knight

"Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Self-evaluation.  As you evaluate your daily routine, would you consider yourself a “human being” or a “human doing”?  Are you so consumed with tasks, chores and responsibilities that you neglect the most important asset in life…God, people and relationships?  It seems that pressing tasks, household chores, errands and work responsibilities have become a source of contention for many people in our culture today.  We live in a fast paced world.  A visually driven, performance-based society.  And relationships suffer.  We struggle because were conflicted and torn.  And despite technological advances that have increased productivity and improved communication through Facebook, Instagram, texting and emails etc., our to-do lists are as long as ever.  Unfortunately, many people still seem to be ruled by “the tyranny of the urgent.”

But God provides us with an alternative, rest; rest for your souls.  God created us and our longing desire is to connect and enjoy the people God has placed in our path.  But we need to stop.  Stop “doing” and start “being” a human.

Almost every morning my wife and I ask each other the same question, “So what does your day look like?” It’s good for us because we know how to pray for each other and it also gives us insight on how busy our day looks.  My days are usually packed, to the point where the list is not achievable.  And the list goes on, and on, and on…to the extent that I pray for few interruptions, distractions or hiccups for the day.  Been there? Pressed?  Stressed?  Have you ever felt so overwhelmed and exhausted just thinking about your day and that massive to-do list?  I have many days, but I’m thankful that Jesus gives me insight in prioritizing my day.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.

We know the words well and find some comfort, but do we really experience this?  An easy yoke?  A light burden? Yokes and burdens, absolutely.  But easy and light?  And rest for the soul?  Not usually.  Most of us stress with far heavier yokes than Jesus intended for us.  So how do we shed our heavy loads?  Read Matthew 11:28-30 again. Two words – yoke and rest- are repeated twice.  Rest is a word that suggests the stopping of motion.  And the rest that Jesus promises is rest for the soul, not body rest.  So the “image of rest” that comes to our mind like lounging in the sun on the beach in Maui is probably not accurate.  The rest, the peace, is on the inside.  His concern is for our hearts.  So conquering the to-do list at the risk of spending time with the Lord or with people is not a good plan.

Christ was most likely the busiest person who ever lived.  Crowds pestered Him.  Strangers grabbed His clothing. People with needs disturbed His sleep and interrupted His teaching.  In one day alone, Jesus encouraged the disciples, healed the sick, taught the multitude, fed the five thousand, and helped a friend through a storm!!  All this, and yet He still found time to be alone with His Father (John 6:1-14).

I encourage you to spend time with God and enjoy spending time people…it’s you’re greatest commodity!!!


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