Happy New 2021! As we assess our time allocation in this new year, it has happened to me and I am guessing you may also experience it. I had said yes and over-committed myself with too many activities, too many volunteer opportunities—Boards, church groups, community committees, etc. They all seemed worthwhile. None of them was bad. Isn’t it my best yes, though, to have more margin in my life?
Why do we do it? Why do we say yes with our heart and mouth when our mind is trying to clearly say no?
It seems like everywhere I turn in the Bible I find more and more verses on being wholehearted versus half-hearted. Ouch.
Do we fulfill some kind of hole in our heart with these activities? Are we hole-hearted?
Here are only a few:
- “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.” –Deuteronomy 30:6
- “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.”—1 Chronicles 28:9
- “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deed.” –Psalm 9:1
- “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.” –Psalm 119:2
- “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” –Jeremiah 29:13
- “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” –Mark 12:30
So how do we know when we are not giving it our all, when we are half-hearted or hole-hearted?
Here are signs that you might be half-hearted or hole-hearted::
- Dreading the next meeting with a particular group.
- Being snippy or kurt with your loved ones. .
- Neglecting quiet time and prayer because you’re too busy
- Neglecting to eat properly and exercise—taking care of mind, body, soul, spirit well—because you’re “too busy”
- Preparing for the activity/meeting at the last minute and/or minimally
- Working solely out of our flesh and not feeling the need to rely on God
- Taking credit for all the success and blaming others for any losses or setbacks
Now ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I participate if I am responding in these ways?
- Is it value, acceptance, need for belonging I am seeking?
- What are my pure motives for saying yes?
Spend some quiet time to reflect on your “why.” As we evaluate how we spend our 168 hours in a week, may we be careful not to let our feelings guide our faith. Some days are not stellar, which is no reason to quit or give up.
“Do the things that interest you and do them all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
So how do we know we are all in with our whole heart?
- It makes our eyes sparkle
- We get nervous because we know some of it is outside our comfort zone, our gifts and talents
- We are relying on God’s help.
- We can’t wait to tell our family and others about the people we are experiencing and what we are learning.
- We are learning healthy life lessons
- We are empowering others to continue the legacy
- We are resting well and taking care of our mind, body, soul and spirit with healthy margin.
“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” –Francis of Assisi
One of my favorite life passages is this:
“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6
In the last few years I have been circling the word “ALL” anytime I see it in my Bible. In every translation “All” means “All.” This is one of those life verses. Trust with ALL your heart…in ALL your ways acknowledge Him…
May we be authentic as we seek to live life with ALL our heart; our whole heart.