We Become What We Do, not What We Intend

Yesterday a wise Bible teacher was talking about this.  And it got me thinking.  We become what we do, not what we intend.

What do I do, and does it match up with intentions?  On a superficial level, I do “put my money where my mouth is,” giving energy to the things I purport to care about.   Yet on a deeper level, I was convicted that I don’t go the extra mile to see that what I care about comes about.  I get distracted.  I fall prey to the St. Paul syndrome of Romans 7:15 (“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”)

I could say it more accurately: “What I want to do I do not do, or only do partially, or only do technically.”  I can say I did it, but I didn’t necessarily do it to the degree that would dictate success.  I thought about that at the gym this morning. Perhaps a mundane example, but a useful one I believe.  Yes, I go to the gym.  I know it’s important to work out.  But I do as little as I can, preferring any exercise that I can do while also reading.  And whereas that’s technically exercise and is indeed better than nothing, it’s not the same thing as giving my attention to increasing my aerobic capacity or to increasing my weight-lifting. Jane Fonda would not congratulate me on “going for the burn” as we 80’s babes used to say.

My new policy is going to be a word I coined today.  I’m going to “robust it” in the direction of my goals and intentions. That’s a hybrid of “busting it” and giving a robust effort.

I can hear St. Paul using it now, “Whatever you do, robust it, as doing it unto the Lord.”  Lord, help me (literally).


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