Being wholehearted means being fully committed, sincere, and devoted. When we are wholehearted, we give our entire selves – heart, soul, mind, and strength – to whatever we are pursuing. The Bible has much to say about living a wholehearted life for God.
First, the Bible calls us to love and serve God with our whole hearts. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Jesus affirmed this commandment in Matthew 22:37, stating that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” God desires our full devotion, not just part of our hearts.
Wholehearted living starts with being fully committed to knowing, loving, and obeying God. We see this in the lives of biblical figures like Caleb and Joshua. Numbers 32:12 says, “None except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.” Caleb and Joshua demonstrated wholehearted allegiance to God.
Secondly, the Bible speaks about serving God with sincerity and truth. Joshua 24:14 says, “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.” When our hearts are not divided between God and other loves, we can serve Him with undivided loyalty. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Sincerity reflects the wholeness of our devotion to God.
Thirdly, we are called to rely fully on God rather than dividing our trust. James 1:5-8 explains, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Rather than wavering, we are to have complete confidence in God’s provision when we seek Him wholeheartedly.
Furthermore, serving God wholeheartedly requires undivided focus. Matthew 6:24 states, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” We cannot be double-minded, trying to serve both God and other desires that conflict with Him. Our eyes must be fixed on Him alone.
We also see the importance of wholeheartedness in the example of King Asa. 2 Chronicles 15:17 states, “The high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days.” Despite imperfections, Asa was commended for the undivided wholeness of heart towards God that characterized his life.
The Bible makes it clear that God desires truth and sincerity in our inner being, not just external religious practices. This sincerity reflects wholehearted devotion to God. Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” God takes pleasure when our hearts are fully His.
Wholeheartedness extends beyond just our relationship with God to all areas of life. Colossians 3:23 instructs, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” We are called to serve God enthusiastically in everything we do. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” The Bible commends hard work, diligence, zeal, and passion as reflections of wholehearted living.
Furthermore, we are to practice wholehearted love in our relationships with others. Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” This Includes being loving, generous, compassionate, merciful, and forgiving from the heart. Wholehearted love should characterize the Christian community.
However, while wholehearted living honors God, the Bible also reminds us that our hearts are naturally prone to wander. Jeremiah 17:9 warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Left unchecked, sinful desires can divide our hearts and prevent us from wholeheartedly following God.
Thankfully, God promises to replace our hearts of stone with soft, undivided hearts to follow Him. Ezekiel 36:26-27 declares, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Through Christ, we can live wholeheartedly.
In summary, the Bible clearly emphasizes that God desires our whole hearts. Wholehearted living means loving God fully, serving Him sincerely, relying on Him completely, focusing on Him exclusively, and expressing love energetically. Though our hearts are prone to wander, God graciously gives us new hearts to follow Him wholly. By clinging to Jesus and recognizing our dependence on the Spirit’s empowerment, we can yield our undivided hearts to our faithful God all our days.