How wholehearted am I?

Monday May 13, 2012

I walked out of the preschool in tears.

A son’s defiance had brought me there, but I left with a bit of wisdom I’ve carried for years.

A wise preschool director said to me, “Being stubborn—persistent—isn’t a bad thing. As parents, our goal needs to be to raise children who are stubborn for the right things.”

As I sat down to write this, I tried to think of an example of dogged, don’t give up, never-ending persistence; that’s a hard thing to find today.

Maybe it’s because it’s Mother’s Day, but the images that crop up time and time again are of stubborn toddlers, sticking their guns.

Wrong or right, they are wholehearted in their pursuit.

How wholehearted am I?

I’ve written about Solomon and his dad for the last two Mondays, courtesy of the wise words of Pastor Larry at FBC Fort Lauderdale. David had his distractions, but it was Solomon who really experienced the slow fade. We learned from David to stay focused on the job He’s given us and to place ourselves in community, a place of accountability. We also learned the value of a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

Solomon? Well, he started out well, asking for wisdom, but he experienced the slow fade, as he shored up his borders by marrying foreign wives who brought foreign gods to God’s people. And it went downhill from there.

Solomon wrote Proverbs, hoping to instruct his son Rehoboam in the way of wisdom…but to no avail.

Solomon’s divided heart resulted in a divided kingdom. As his son Rehoboam attempted to establish himself as the next ruler, he asked for advice from the elders and from the young men. Rehoboam rejected the wisdom of the elders, and the kingdom was split; God’s people were set against one another. A kingdom divided, for years to come.

How wholehearted am I?

Solomon’s heart “had turned away from the LORD” (I Kings 11:9). And I Kings 15:3 tells us this about Solomon’s son, Rehoboam: “His heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been.”

Yes, David had his distractions; in fact, he took a mighty fall. But when confronted with his sin, David said, “I have sinned against the LORD.” In his brokenness, he turned to God. I Samuel 30:6 says, “David found his strength in the LORD his God.”

Just as David, we mess up. But we can only clean up our messes by turning our hearts to God.

David’s story, even with its flaws and foibles, does that – it turns my heart to God.

David was the shepherd boy called to shepherd a nation. Through the cracks in his life story, I see a greater Shepherd shining through.

A wholehearted Shepherd who gives strength to my heart, too.

I'm linking up with Laura, Michelle, and Jen today.

Photo credit


Lisa notes... said...

I've been reading this week in "The Gifts of Imperfection" and the author really stresses being wholehearted. So it's good to read your take here. Thanks, Laura; it's always a pleasure to visit with you!

Amy Sullivan said...

Most of the time people tend to give up when it is too hard. When we meet resistance, we often begin to waffle on our choices or thoughts.

Good reminder for us to stand strong.

Laura said...

I never grow tired of David's story.

Just this morning, one of my patients told me he is a "stubborn" man. I told him that quality will serve him well if he applies it to working as hard as he can through rehab.

Thinking about how I can be more wholehearted, now, Laura. That's a good thing to ponder.

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