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Doing vs. Being - Today's Insight - May 14, 2021

MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS had its thirtieth anniversary reunion many summers ago. Since I could not attend, I decided to blow the dust off my yearbook and stroll down nostalgia lane. I remembered a project we seniors were given before the yearbook went to press back in ’52. We were asked to think about the next twenty years and answer, “What do I want to do?” The plan was to record our dreams and goals in the yearbook, then evaluate them at each subsequent reunion. Some of the goals are not fitting to repeat, but some are both interesting and revealing:

“Win all-American honors and play professional football.”

“Finish medical school and have a practice in Honolulu.”

“Make a living writing short stories, plays, and novels.”

“Travel abroad as a news correspondent.”

“Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.”

All sorts of goals. Some admirable, some questionable, some crazy, a few stupid. The more I’ve thought back to that end-of-the-chapter high school project, the more I believe we were asked to answer the wrong question. What we want to do is not nearly as important as what we ought to be. And the longer I live the more significant that becomes. It’s possible to do lots of things yet be zilch as a person.

Remember these familiar words penned by the apostle Paul?

Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. . . . Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.


We’re wise to take our life direction from the Lord rather than our high school classmates. How we do what we do matters so much more to the Lord than what we do.

Are you focusing on being the kind of representative Jesus calls you to be? Or are you caught in the trap of doing what other people expect? The latter will wear you out! The former will bring you genuine fulfillment. Go there.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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