Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 NIV)
I always forget that the context of this verse was a Pharisee who was an expert in religious law and “tried to trap” Jesus with the question, “Which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” (Matthew 22:34-39). In the Old Testament, that command is found in Deuteronomy 6:5, with the three parts of a human being listed in the same order. Interestingly, the section of Deuteronomy 6 in my Bible is labeled “A Call for Wholehearted Commitment,” and in Matthew the section it’s found in is called “The Most Important Commandment.”
Just pause there.
Focusing on the adjectives, I looked up the word “wholehearted.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “completely and sincerely devoted, determined or enthusiastic.” “Important” is defined as “marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence; valuable in content or relationship.”
As I type, there’s that sinking feeling that I have not been living those words out like they are defined. For me, the hardest part to let go of is my heart and my mind. I believe that by the grace of God, Jesus has my soul because I’m saved. I feel like I’m not loving with my whole heart because I know I am easily swayed. My mind is resistant because I’m forgetful, and it’s the one aspect of myself that I think I might have control of, when I really don’t.
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve sat and thought about what it means to be “completely and sincerely devoted/determined/enthusiastic” to a commitment or commandment that’s “marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence.” Commandment isn’t in my day-to-day thoughts, though now while I think of it, maybe it should be. God made us all unique, and how we are called to live out “wholehearted” is different. But the essence of the intent is the same: devoted, determined, enthusiastically involving “all your heart, all your soul, all your mind.”
God’s been asking me, “What does ‘wholehearted’ love for me look like for you right now?” I have an idea of what it should look right now: to pray and read the Word every morning and/or evening again—and not just when I’m stressed and panicking. Unfortunately opening my day in Scripture has fallen by the wayside in favor of a few more “precious” minutes of sleep. Time is where I feel all the crunch right now, and in a culture that promotes “self,” it’s easy to rationalize alone time as “self-care.”
We are all different, so what would “wholehearted” look like for you?