If you’re like me you want to love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mk 12:30). But what does that mean?
It can be quite complicated because we humans have many different aspects to our makeup which are all inter-related. I found it helpful to try and look at them individually. In that way, we’ll be better able to…
Love God with our whole being
Last time I covered mind and heart. Now I’ll attempt to discuss what it means to love God with the physical and non-physical aspects of our makeup.
We are loving God with our physical bodies when we:
- Get enough rest, eat healthy, and exercise in order to serve God better—not just to feel and look good
- Live a balanced life of work and relaxation
- Use our 5 senses in a God-honoring way. For example:
~Watch, listen to, and smell only wholesome things
~Touch people appropriately
- We take action in obeying God. For example:
~Take care of our families and other God-given responsibilities
~Follow a prompting to do an act of kindness like making a meal or driving someone to the doctor’s office.
- Use our mouth to speak truth to others
- Use our material possessions for God’s glory (although this is not an actual part of our makeup, I just had to include it here! 🙂 )
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17)
(Will, personality, temperament, abilities, conscience, spirit)
We are loving God with our will when we:
- Make right choices
- Put in the effort to do the hard things (otherwise known as discipline)
- Develop good habits—spiritual and non-spiritual—reading God’s word, being on time, etc.
- Break bad habits
- Determine to do God’s will no matter what—“Not my will but Your will be done” mentality
- Persevere and endure hardship; refuse to give up
- Resist temptation; fight with every ounce of our being not to give in
We are loving God with our temperament, personality, and abilities (including our spiritual gifts) when we:
- Use our personality in our service to God. For example: if an extrovert, then we serve in a ministry involving people; if an introvert then we serve more behind the scenes
- Serve in the area of our giftedness
- Use our temperament in a God-honoring way. For example:
~If we tend to be laid-back, we don’t let ourselves be lazy
~If we are a doer, we try to do a task in His strength not our own
~If we are a good organizer, we use that gift to help others instead of criticizing them.
~If we tend to be a perfectionist, we strive for excellence instead.
We are loving God with our conscience when we:
- Are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction when we stray from His ways
- Repent quickly
We are loving God with our spirit and the rest of that immaterial part of us when we:
- Avail ourselves of Christ’s power within us for His glory
…struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Col 1:29)
- Allow the character and traits of Christ to manifest itself through us
- Let Christ be the Source of everything
So my friends, I hope this exercise has increased your understanding of what it means to love God with your whole being. I know I have fallen way short in adequately discussing such an esoteric subject. But I pray that, at the very least, I have stimulated your thinking. I will entrust the Holy Spirit to do the rest, because spiritual truths can only be spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:10-16).
For me, my eyes have been opened up afresh as to how much I fall short in loving God with all of who I am. Alleluia! He loves you and me—shortcomings and all—with all of His heart and soul (Jer 32:41)! Which just makes me love Him all the more!
So until next time…
[I am] praying…that you will be filled with his mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens—always full of the joy of the Lord (Col 1:11 TLB)
Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
(TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.