Do = Are
I’m recovering from an injured right pinky finger. It’s embarrassing to admit how it happened. Basically, what happened is that I’d gotten into the habit of slipping my pinky under my smartphone to hold it in place while I used it.
So, the awkward position of the pinky added to the amount of time I spend on my phone equaled an injury.
But, it got me thinking about habits. There’s two involved here. One is where I put my pinky. Another is how much I use my phone.
Are these helpful habits? The first one is pretty clearly a no. The second is an open question.
It’s a bit of an oversimplification, but we could say that we are our habits. Whatever we do day-in-day out is who we are. We may say we believe in this or that thing, but what we really believe in is what we habitually do.
Habits shape us.
A couple of months ago I was at a retreat for writers. Over and over again it was stressed that writers are simply people who habitually write things down. Do = Are.
In the Book of Acts chapter 2, when the Holy Spirit fills the disciples at Pentecost, we’re told they started habitually studying what had been taught about Jesus, going to the Temple, eating meals of celebration and prayer together, sharing their money and stuff so everyone had enough, and acting in ways that triggered goodwill from outsiders.
This is who they are.
The movie character Forest Gump famously said that stupid is as stupid does. Similarly, we might be able to say that Christians are what Christians do.
This is an oversimplification, but not really that much of one. What are our Jesus habits? They’ll tell us who we are.