Jun 122014

We’ve all heard the phrase and probably even told other people it.    Especially when facing a very large and daunting task.   “Don’t just stand there, do something!”

The thinking is that something is better than nothing.   If you have a yard full of maple trees and a lot of leaves that have fallen, don’t just stand there, do something.    It doesn’t matter what, where or how you do it, but start tackling the problem.” 

If you have 57,000 diapers that need to be loaded on a container, “don’t just stand there, do something” applies very well.

There are many other situations where doing “anything” is better than doing nothing.

But I would like to bring up an alternative theory.   What if “Don’t just stand there, do something!” is backwards?

What if doing something is actually worse than doing nothing?

What if rushing in causes more harm than good?

What if “do something” causes the problem to continue and has no long term positive results?

Instead, I think the saying should be, “Don’t do something, just stand there…….”

Just stand there and read about the culture.  And realize that unless you are working in your own neighborhood, you don’t know the culture, you don’t know the background and it would be presumptuous to assume that you do.

Just stand there and learn from the experienced people (note, I didn’t call them experts, just experienced).

Just stand there and ask some hard questions about the organization that you want to support, their goals, their financial information, their transparency and their experience levels.

Just stand there and think about how you would feel if someone from another country came and “did that” in your neighborhood.

Just stand there and pray about what God wants you to do.

Just stand there and think about why you want to do “this.”   Is it for your personal reasons?   Or is it what God has called you to?   Or is it………

Just stand there and look for God and try to see what He is up to.


And once you’ve stood there and thought, read, prayed, learned, analyzed and looked, then decide what God wants you to do and how to make a difference.

That’s when it’s time to “Do Something.”


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