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July 17, 2007


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Actually, the distinction between who we are and what we do is artificial. Everything you do is an expression that comes from how you think and feel, your experiences and your desires. If you believe that Jesus only looks at performance then you will behave accordingly.

I believe that what God wants to do is restore our hearts so that what comes from us glorifies Him. Truth is what God made. There are ways to shortcut the process, and people who look no deeper than the surface will see the difference between things done for show and things done because your God-restored heart yearns to do them.

Glorifying God is a good idea not because God needs our worship but because it reminds us of truth. Truth, as exemplified by Jesus, is what we can hold onto when the storm winds howl.

Acting in certain ways gets us rewards, but (John 4:22-24) "22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.""

from Biblegateway


--->Everything you do is an expression that comes from how you think and feel, your experiences and your desires.

That is true. To a point. But I disagree that the line between who we are and what we do is artificial. At least it isn't artificial in me.

Who I am, who I was created to be and who God dreams me to be are a far cry from what I do most of the time. I wear a mask most of the time. I am not to the world who I am inside. I'm too afraid of how I will be judged to reveal the true me. And all too often what I do is an outgrow NOT of who I am but of MY MASK and what it decrees I "should" do in order to be accepted.

You said it yourself. "Acting in certain ways gets us rewards." There is a HUGE difference in how we act (because we want the rewards) and who we are.

There is also a very clear and strong undercurrent in the church to DO for God -- as you just pointed out. To DO good things, to DO service, to DO... whatever to please Him. In DOING these things, we are told, we influence people.

The author's point here is that God dreams for us to influence people just by being who we are, not by DOing anything. Just being who we are. Through our authenticity we can influence others far more than though anything we might do.

His point is to take off our masks, stop trying to "please" God and start being who we really are. Be transparent, be authentic, be real. THAT's the person God wants us to be. That's when we glorify God. That's when He can start transforming the parts about us that are ungodly. Until then, He can't get past the mask.


I didn't speak very clearly here. I'm having general communication problems at the moment.

Yes, we all have masks... but where is the boundary between mask and the real person? My point is that we tend to become the mask: when people think that doing is good enough, then doing becomes what they are.

Ideally there would be no distinction nor mask: actions would come directly from the heart and soul. I don't know if it's possible, but I don't see any option for truly effective actions.

This is the big experiment in my life. Recently I have learned that lying to myself in support of certain ideas is dangerous, as that is a few steps on a slope that runs the wrong way, away from God.


I read True Faced. The abbreviated edition, not the longer one - not sure which you picked up.

Just a quick comment for now: I live in fear that the ugly stuff I do or say DOES reflect who I am, unfortunately, but would PREFER to conceal (and from myself most of all)...


I'm sorry. I think I bit your head off the other day when I posted my comment. I was tired and a little stressed, and just didn't take the time to filter my words well. Sorry about that.

Larry and Marti,
I'm still trying to get a handle on all this, so I may not make much sense. :) Plus, it IS 3am...

Even before reading this book I realized I wear a lot of masks, almost all the time. Like Marti, I'd prefer to hide who I really am behind a mask. So I put on a persona of who I WANT to be, and who I want people to see me as.

But just as Larry said, eventually I get confused and really think I am the mask I wear. I start to believe my own press, in a way. But something will always----sin will always rise up and smack me in the face and I realize I am NOT the person I pretend to be.

I've realized of late that so much of my mindset and "training" has been that my influence on others, and how I please God is to do things; to serve and such. The idea of me just "being" me -- not doing anything, just being -- bringing God glory is still a struggle for me; even though God has put that truth in my face over and over the last four years. That is, that He gets more glory when I'm just me, who I really am with no masks and no doing anything, than He gets from all the good stuff/service I've ever done for Him in my whole life. I think that's why I started crying when I read the above quote. I've spent my whole life trying to do big things for God, when really, all He ever wanted was for me to just be me.

You know... I was trying to earn God's love with all my doing/service. Even though I know in my head that I can't earn His love; I still have that "mindset" in my heart.

Okay. Have I made any sense here, or are you completely lost now?


You have made sense... as much sense as the crying out of a suppressed heart can make. None of us is used to this. We're trained to be up and doing, no matter what.

I see no dichotomy between being and doing in Jesus. No matter who He ran into, He was being Himself, in different ways. With the Pharisees he was forward and direct. With the woman at the well he took a less direct path to the same truth, and thereby led the woman to a different view of her actions.

My take on this is that we are to be so suffused with God's presence that our actions are like those of Jesus. That's what I meant in saying that the distinction was artificial. Given time to think about it any of us can act in any way. When there's no time to think you get a more honest view. Jesus when angry is still Jesus, expressing love because that's his nature. Larry when angry is just ugly.

Emily Hunter McGowin

Hey Lu,

This is unrelated to your post (my apologies), but I thought you'd find this quiz fun. Since I can't post HTML on your blog, try copy and pasting the following: http://quizfarm.com/run.php/Quiz?quiz_id=898. In keeping with your prediction on Ben Cole's blog, it turns out that my Harry Potter alter ego is Hermione.

I hope you're having a good weekend,



Oooh, fun. I came out as Sirius Black - "You are a gifted wizard and very loyal to your allegiance. Whilst you have a big heart and care very much about those around you, you can be a little arrogant and reckless at times." Spot on ; - ) But would prefer to avoid his end...


Emily - I TOLD you so!! Your comment gave me a wonderful, and needed, stress-relieving laugh on Saturday when I read it. I was in the middle of a 13-hour homework fest, so I couldn't stop and comment then -- and I've been too busy reading Book 7 since then. But I've now published my results... Albus Dumbledore. Who knew???

Marti - I can totally see Sirius in you!

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