“Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. . . . He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.”- 2 Chronicles 25:1-2 (NRSV)
“I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”- Acts 13:22 (NIV)
In Chapter 6 of All the Places to Go, John Ortberg quips that he can’t imagine a coach standing before his/her team and saying, “Now go out and give it . . . most of what you’ve got.” However, Pastor Ortberg observes, at times people try to “walk through high-challenge doors with low-level commitment.” Just the opposite is needed- greater wholeheartedness.
Yes, there could be an expectation that we’ll voluntarily suffer loss, sacrifice our comfort, give up our time, or humble our pride. Sacrifice is involved when we must choose one thing over another.
One hundred percent commitment really boils down to where our hearts truly are. Finessing commitment, as Amaziah did, won’t work. John concludes with five questions to help us in discerning wholeheartedness:
1. Do I talk about commitment to other people to create a kind of public accountability for my actions?
2. Do I own the responsibility to grow?
3. Do I complain about difficulties in a way that can subtly rationalize a halfhearted involvement?
4. Do I deal with discouragements by talking with God and asking for strength to persevere?
5. Do I recognize and celebrate even small steps in the right direction?
Today’s question: Which of Pastor Ortberg’s five questions holds the most significance for you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Jesus’ instructions”