The ministry of Jesus can be divided into two parts: Doing for and Being done to. In Doing for others Jesus taught the seeker, fed the hungry and healed the sick. In His ministry of Being done to His beard was plucked, He was betrayed, beaten, and crucified.
Surely both ministries were important, but His most vital ministry was allowing Himself to be done to. For it was on the cross that Jesus showed God’s atoning, unlimited love to us sinners.
As Christian we follow in Jesus’ steps by doing for others— a meal brought in when there is sickness, a listening ear, financial help, teaching the Word. Ah, but we also share in our Lord’s ministry of being done to.
Doing for can be fun and soul-satisfying. Done to can be painful. Yet it is in being done to that we also often find our finest ministry.
Consider Paul’s poem of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Some of love’s little duties are doing for—like prayer and prophecies. What predominates, however, is being done to. Like “Giving my body to be burned.” And notice carefully how most of love’s attributes listed there are a response to someone else’s bad behavior.
“Love is patient.” It is not “jealous.” “It is not provoked.” It “bears all things.”
A willingness to follow Jesus into a ministry of being done to is basic if one wants to be married, a parent, a friend, and any kind of church member.
In a church I once served an elder second guessed my every move. He criticized me behind my back. Even slandered me. Worse, he turned 2 hour church meetings into 4 hour marathons. I tried to deal with him patiently. A young deacon later told me, ”I don’t see how you do it. I‘ve learned so much, watching you.”
Being done to in every likelihood will be your lasting legacy in every portion of your influence.