Christ's Calling

“Do what you want to do – be who you want to be.”

I keep seeing this adage popping up. It has been on multiple social media sites, and I’ve even heard a student or two at school say it. If you don’t think about too hard, it seems kind of nice. The sort of saying you can kind of nod along to.

But lately every time I see it or hear it, it drives me a little more crazy. Because NO.

No, no, no.

You cannot do what you want to do and think you will become who you want to become. Life just does not work that way, and to think otherwise will set you up for a world of disappointment.

What kinds of things do we fantasize about wanting to do?

Although it may look different for everyone, it probably doesn’t involve much work, dedication, devotion, or other difficulties. Lots of leisure and ease. Lots of everything going your way. And although that might be nice in the short term, it won’t serve you well in the long run.

Being who you want to be – who you are meant to be – requires that you do things you do not want to do. It requires sacrifices, momentary pain and loss in search of a more meaningful, long term gain.

I think Paul is writing about this in Romans 7, where he says, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war again the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.”

As believers we so often KNOW that the right thing is not the easiest, quickest, most fun thing. It is often painful, and hard, and just not what we WANT to do. Evil lies close at hand. The pressure to do the easy thing is real.

There is a real and true war seeking to capture our minds and hearts and interests, and all too often it sounds like a whisper in the deep reaches of our heart, saying gently “Do what you want to do – be who you want to be”.

Silence that voice – you are made for more than satisfying short term pleasures.

“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:6