In the Christian community, the last generation of leaders has often been called the “builder generation.” These were men and women who accomplished great things – including founding universities, launching massive media networks, and building ministries with a global outreach. They were great “doers.” The problem was, far too often they weren’t so good at “being.”
Some of those same leaders who accomplished so much for the Kingdom of God were also closet alcoholics, others were absent fathers, many had raging egos, some were tyrants in the workplace, and still others committed adultery which virtually destroyed their families. On the surface, they were remarkable leaders, but inside, they deeply struggled.
Throughout the Bible, it’s interesting that before the Lord calls us to “Do” he calls us to “Be.” The scriptures remark about the righteousness of men like Abraham and Noah before it tells the stories of what they accomplished. Certainly they stumbled from time to time – we all do that – but their primary concern wasn’t accomplishment, it was their relationship with God.
I know from my own family experience my father’s generation often found their identity in what they did, rather than who they were. My father was a great pastor, but in his later years was forced to step down from the pulpit because of a stroke and heart problems, and he literally wanted to die. He told me that since he couldn’t preach anymore, then what was the point of living? He rarely thought of himself as a father or husband – only as a pastor.
We all want to achieve things with our lives, but if we’re not careful, we’ll be tempted to sacrifice who we are for what we could achieve. Jesus said: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Accomplish great things. But don’t lose yourself in the process.