Wholehearted: Nerd Style
There are a few ways in which the word wholehearted is frequently used. Typically, its use implies a connection or relationship between two parties. We hear expressions like:
“I wholeheartedly believe you…”
“He wholeheartedly supports his team…”
“She attacked the project with wholehearted devotion…”
In church settings, we most often hear the word “wholehearted” in the context of “wholehearted devotion.” So when I began this journey that is where I began my study.
And like any good nerd, I went straight to the dictionary.
Wholehearted is a compound word made up of the two words whole and heart. Since the heart element seemed self-evident I focused on “whole.”
1. comprising the full quantity, amount, extent, number, etc., without diminution or exception; entire, full, or total: He ate the whole pie. They ran the whole distance.
2. containing all the elements properly belonging; complete: We have a whole set of antique china.
3. undivided; in one piece: to swallow a thing whole.
4. Mathematics . integral, or not fractional.
5. not broken, damaged, or impaired; intact: Thankfully, the vase arrived whole.
1. profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc.: the devotion of one’s wealth and time to scientific advancement.
4. Often, devotions. Ecclesiastical . religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use.
What I took from these definitions was that wholeness is about completion and equality. Devotion, similarly, is about dedication and commitment.
This notion of “wholeness, undivided, fully intact” really challenged me.
I realized that we can’t be wholehearted in our devotion to God if we aren’t trusting Him fully and completely, without doubt or flinch, in every area of our lives…all of the time.
Wholeness, and therefore wholeheartedness which Webster defines as “something being done, acted, given, etc, with total sincerity, enthusiasm, or commitment,” requires the same level of trust, love, devotion, etc in every area of our lives, always…
No exceptions or no free passes.
What I realized was that it is impossible for us to reap the benefits of wholeheartedness if it doesn’t apply across the board.
Wholeheartedness is about focusing our hearts.
A heart, a life that is in complete unison…
Every thought, every action, every gift, every ability, every everything is drawn up under a single Banner of Love, moving in one direction, in one accord.
Living wholehearted, then, is our anthem, our attitude and our approach to life.
It is a posture that positions everything as a unified love offering to God! ♥
Deut. 4:29, 6:5, Exodus 17:15 (NIV), Joshua 22:5, Psalm 86:12, Song of Songs 2:4 (NKJV)