Chris Bell: Identity and Motive Matters

Questions are powerful.  The right question can lead to the right answers.  As busy people living busy lives, we have a tendency to become insanely over busy.  It is into this insanity that I would like to offer a couple of powerful questions that hopefully will help us all get to the heart of our issues with busyness.  Now, as a warning, these are questions that will be hard for you to answer honestly, but I urge you to do so.

You see, unhealthy busyness isn’t just an exterior behavior to be managed or modified, but it is a symptom of deeper issues of the heart.  That’s the point of the questions……to bore down through the layers of your image, walls, and veneer.  It would seem that the fix to crazy busyness would be to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and change.  This, unfortunately, is just a band aid for what is often a gaping wound.   Human issues are rarely just skin deep.  We are deeply complex creatures with deeply complex problems and tendencies.  So, crank up the drill and start drilling.  Here are the questions.

Who are you serving with your serving? 

Are you truly serving people or God for His glory and their good?  Or, are you really ultimately looking for your own glory.  Before you blow this off, allow it to really sink in.  As broken people, we tend to dress up our hidden narcissism with selflessness.  We are masters at making caring about what people think about us look like we are really caring for them.

Are you doing good or trying to look good? 

Yeah, I know, it’s painful….very painful.  I know how you feel.  You see, I’m pretty good at doing things that look outwardly like they are for God’s glory and people’s good, but they are ultimately for my glory and for my good.  I’m broken just like you.  I’m not who I used to be….but I’m also not who I’m going to be!!  I, like you, am a work in progress.

Here’s the deal.  If you will allow these penetrating questions to shine light into the jagged crevices of your heart, the healing process can begin.  If you live in denial, it will just get worse.  If you are super busy because you’re trying to prove yourself and have a good looking outward image, you will walk this demanding trail to a potentially destructive end.  It will wear you out and leave you insecure and empty.  You will use people for your own good under the disguise of doing what’s best for them.  It’s an issue of why instead of what.  It’s not just the things you’re doing, but it is the reason you are doing them in the first place.  So, why are you so busy?  What are you trying to prove?

The only answer to this issue is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He called us to “come to Him and find rest.”  We must rest in the finished work of Jesus.  The only way we can serve God for His glory and people for their good is to be complete and secure in Jesus.  It is in and through Him that I find that I have nothing left to prove.  My identity is nailed down in Jesus.  It is a daily process of doing what we do underneath the shadow of the cross.  It is in that shadow that the purest light can actually begin to shine out from our lives.

Hopefully these questions will lead you to where they’ve led me…….to a statement.  I do what I do because of my identity in Jesus, not to find it.  This has set me free.  I hope it will for you.


Chris Bell is a coach for couragetolead.com, and Lead Pastor of 3Circle Church in Alabama. Chris has been featured in Outreach Magazine and 3Circle Church was named one of the fastest growing churches in America and the 2nd fastest growing church in Alabama. 3Circle Church is a 5 campus multi-site church with over 3100 weekly attendance. He is married to Nan, and has three children.