The Greatest Commandment: Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength Together (Miniblog #253)
According to Jesus, the Greatest Command is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. In other words, love God and our neighbor with the entirety and totality of our being. I love to conceive of the christian life as being a centripetal force in which heart, soul, mind, and strength are being drawn in toward one another until they merge, become inseparable, and ultimately become one in the same. That being the case, I always get a little skittish when people treat the heart as though it’s the true, core embodiment of self. For example, when Christians I love and respect earnestly say that they want God to get a hold of my heart. The language suggests that this happen in isolation or in some sort of greater sense. That is not my desire and definitively is not my prayer. People often say if faith is in your head but it doesn’t get to your heart, something is terribly wrong. No argument there. I agree. But is not the inverse equally true in light of the Greatest Commandment? If it gets to your heart but doesn’t get to your head, isn’t that terribly wrong as well? And if it gets to your heart and your mind but doesn’t get to your spirit or your body or doesn’t influence how you treat your neighbor, surely that’s just as troublesome. We are, after all, holistic beings who are made in God’s image. Certainly we all need to be gracious about this, knowing that for each of us it’s a lifelong process of being cultivated by the Holy Spirit. Yet it will not do to keep misframing the entire christian life in such an unbiblical manner. It’s one thing to say, “I’m a work-in-progress.” It’s another thing to be progressing toward the wrong destination.