I have heard that if something is worth doing, it should be done well and with your whole heart. Indeed, the results of half-hearted efforts are usually clearly seen. One such person from Scripture who exhibited and professed having the zeal of wholeheartedness was the young Psalmist of Israel David.
“With my whole heart I have sought thee; O let me not wander from thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:10) David sought after the Lord; it was his great desire and goal. He sought not with the intention of boasting that he had made it. He made it his objective to not only find God but to also stay with Him. Matthew 7:7 reminds us that if we, too, seek, we shall find, and seeking with one’s whole heart takes effort.
“Give me understanding and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psa 119:34) Here David is proclaiming his complete devotion to God by confirming that whatever God says, his laws or commands, David will follow. Can any of us say the same in our own spiritual walk, or even of the rules or instructions of our employers or teachers? David isn’t being a mind-dead robot; he was following the command to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and might. (Deut 6:5) If you love someone deeply you will not have the desire to disobey them in any way.
“I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.” (Psa 119:145) Why is David crying out to the Lord? It may be that he did disobey one of God’s commands, either intentionally or not, and his spiritually sensitive nature would not let him rest until he found forgiveness. Would God withhold His forgiveness from him? Would he withhold His forgiveness from us, if we would also cry out to Him with our whole heart? Certainly not, especially if we had spent our time previously seeking and desiring Him with an equal wholeheartedness.
“Praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart.” (Psa 111:1) I will praise Him because I sought and found him, and He has shown himself loving and merciful to me, even when I fail Him and cry out for His forgiveness. He will not leave me or forsake me. My cup of gratitude runneth over.
Wholeheartedness is a valued character trait for anyone who serves either their human authorities or their God. Compare Hebrews 11:6 where God is a rewarder of them who diligently (wholeheartedly) seek him, to the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22, a church that is neither cold nor hot. The reward for its lukewarmness is to be spat out as unpalatable.
Have you ever been reprimanded for doing your business or schoolwork wholeheartedly? God’s desire is for his people to return to Him with their whole heart. (Jer 24:7) Is it your desire to wholeheartedly seek after and return to God?