I’m very, very slowly making my way through reading the Bible in its entirety. I’ve been on a “read through the Bible in a Year” plan for, well… almost two years. I’m 49% through as of today. However, as long as I keep doing it and moving forward I’m not going to let timelines get in my way. Slow and steady wins the race, right?!
This morning my reading took me to 2 Chronicles 25 where the reign of King Amaziah is recorded. In verse 2 it reads: “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.” (emphasis mine)
Chapter 25 goes on to talk about the wonderful things Amaziah accomplished, how he was faithful to the laws, he “took courage” in the Lord, and then… he just… changed. It records that he set up the idols of other peoples in his own land. He stopped listening, to the prophet, to other leaders, and to God. His heart changed.
I’ve been pretty entranced with this concept of whole-hearted living for a little while now. It started with a secular researcher named Brene Brown and her book the Gift of Imperfection. She has an amazing TED talk on the power of vulnerability you can find here. Within Brown’s work, she has learned that being “whole-hearted” rather than “half-hearted” is one of the main indicators of satisfaction with life.
When I put this into a Biblical perspective, filter it through the lens of Truth, I find that God hope is for us to turn to Him with whole-hearted living. That our lives would be filled with satisfaction in the ways that bring glory to Him. When I came across 2 Chronicles 25:2 this morning, I stopped in my tracks. How many areas am I living in a “YET not with a whole heart” mentality?
Over and over in Chronicles I’ve been reading of kings who did what was right to start with, but then became bored or distracted, or prideful or envious and… they changed. They lost their focus. It’s becoming evident that the real challenge of living a God-centered life is not in the decision to make a right choice, but in the consistent, boring, tedious repetition of making right choices with a whole heart over the course of an entire life time.
I have found myself praying about difficult situations, “God, I have followed your direction, I have responded to the best of my ability in this thing – why are you making it so hard! I’ve proven myself to be faithful, can you just let up for a little while already?!” I have felt like my past performance ought to give me a free pass by present and future difficulties. I’m tired of making the right choice. I’m tired of the struggle. I’m tired.
And YET. Prayerfully, I’m not done with my life for a good while. I don’t want to lose track of the goal of an entire life lived well with the distraction of a portion of a life lived well. I have to make continual decisions to live whole-heartedly for Christ no matter how tired, distracted, etc. I become.
Even though these Old Testament books aren’t my favorite to read, the names are difficult to track, the stories are hard to follow, I’m really happy I’ve been able to get Truth out of their readings. So now I’m off to begin a day that will hopefully be filled with one whole hearted choice after another.
Pssstt… I have really loved the She Reads Truth app for my Bible reading plan. They offer both paid and free Bible Studies, Bible text, and beautiful screensavers. Each day there is the plan, then you can comment about what you’ve learned or noticed with the She Reads Truth community. There’s just something I find extremely pleasing about the interface! Check it out!