A conversation with someone looking away or at something else besides you is only half a conversation. Their inattention makes you wonder if what you have to say is important to that person at all. They may be distracted because they don’t have a vested interest in what you are saying. It may be selfishness on their part that has them believing that only what they say is worthy of a listen. It might even be that the value they place upon you is less than what you thought, and therefore they can justify their divided attention.
That is a prime example of HALF-heartedness. Being in a similar situation makes you uncomfortable, sad, and generally insecure. You may determine that the person’s friendship or acquaintance was not what you thought it would be, and you can safely move on from that. Why? Because you would rather devote your time to others which give you their WHOLE-hearted attention.
Jesus was and is not satisfied with half-hearted efforts to serve Him. He understands that if you cannot give your devotion to Him the full attention it deserves, you will probably not be furthering a serious relationship with Him as your Savior.
The context of today’s devotion: Jesus had spent an exhausting day answering and putting to silence those who were sent to trip Him up (“how they might entangle him in his talk”). A Pharisee lawyer, trying to test (tempt) Jesus, asked, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus’ answer:
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, KJV).
Jesus was not only wise to the man’s motives, but He also understood that the answer would be for everyone who was sincerely seeking to fulfill the great(est) commandment. Therefore, He made it abundantly clear what was required—undivided, committed, selfless, WHOLE-HEARTED love.
ALL. Not a part only.
ALL. With every portion of our hearts.
ALL. Not a suggestion, a commandment.
ALL. The answer for the seeking.
We may not like the answer since it requires a lot from us.
To truly love, we must WHOLLY love.
The requirement for WHOLE-HEARTED love is a fully-engrossed commitment; no distractions, divided attention, or half-involved conversations. Jesus wants to love YOU fully—Whole-Heartedly—and He wants it to be a reciprocal relationship. This kind of reciprocated love brings great rewards to our lives: value, security, and joy. Who wouldn’t want a relationship like that?
Thank you for letting me see that about people I have to learn to let go. I guess I make my share of mistakes insisting on someone’s attention!