Sunday, August 23, 2009

heart lovin' - part three

Love the Lord your God with all your heart.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the best known and trusted personality assessments. I participated in a detailed assessment while in corporate America about twenty years ago and just last week took a quickie version on Facebook.

One of the four dichotomies it measures is how you make decisions: by thinking or feeling. Wiki provides a good explanation of these:

Those who prefer thinking tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent and matching a given set of rules. Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it 'from the inside' and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved.

I am a T. Thinker. Always have been wired that way. Or, as my son would say, that’s how I roll.

So as I ponder Mark 12: 28-30 this afternoon, I can only wonder whether “loving with all your heart” comes more naturally to some people than others – and if so, what implications does that have for my relationship with Jesus Christ?

People talk about ‘heartless’ when describing those who act without feeling or emotion… lacking empathy or compassion. And while I have probably been accused in such words, I feel pretty confident in the fact that I am not totally heartless.

In sports, however, we refer to a player’s heart to describe their enthusiasm and intensity for the game. In a way, a person’s heart can transcend their skills and abilities. When an underdog wins, it’s more often attributed to heart than chance. This morning at church, we were praising God with some arm-waving, foot-stomping intensity, and it was really cool. But I confess that my enthusiasm and intensity waned before I even reached the car. In fact, waned is a definite understatement.

Truth is, when it comes to loving with all my heart, I am less concerned with the thinker-feeling wiring. After all, even the Tin Man got his heart.
But I do often wonder: why am I unable to sustain my enthusiasm and intensity for the God of the universe? Where is my heart?


Ed G. said...

In my wondering and pondering for this post, came across the following quote.

"I have no heart, I feel no love, nor fear, nor joy, no sorrow. I am hollow and I will live forever."

There's a link between having a heart and connecting... of belonging. Not surprising, the moments in my life where I feel least enthusiastic about my relationship with Jesus are also the times I feel lonliest.

Kansas Bob said...

I am wired like you Ed.. most of my life I have lived from head.. in truth my mind was so much stronger than my heart. These last five years or so have been revolutionizing as I have been trying to feed, exercise and strengthen my heart. A few years ago I wrote about this dynamic of developing a strong heart.. I still struggle though.. my head always wants to trump my heart.. but maybe not as much as it used to :)

Ed G. said...

Bob, I love when you wrote "I am convinced that the war is often won and lost at the first skirmish." Perhaps that is the easiest battle to win too, if we leave it to our heart.

Also like the notion that you can feed, exercise and strengthen your heart. Perhaps trying to "love with all your heart" is more of a journey than a destination, because your heart can continue to grow.

Thanks for your comment.