Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength

Jesus is approached by an expert in the Hebrew Law and asked what is the most important thing, and Jesus’ answer is love from the Shema in Deut 6. Mark records Jesus’ quotation of Deut 6 (specifically v.5) as:

…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

-Mark 12:30

The OT Shema from Deut uses the terms καρδία (heart), ψυχή (soul), & δύναμις (strength) – which is what you find Jesus saying, but in Mark he separates δύναμις into διανοια (mind) & ἰσχύς (strength).

I think this is a good pattern for our lives to keep us balanced in our day-to-day, and perhaps even in our churches. Try to regularly participate in each of these four:

  • καρδία – with your emotions, the core of your being, worship God and love his people
  • ψυχή – with all of your life, not just on Sunday, engage God and his people with the essence of who you are
  • διανοια – challenge yourself to think about God and increase your understanding about him and his word on a regular basis
  • ἰσχύς – love God with your actions, with your hands and feet, by loving people

This is certainly not intended to be an exhaustive list, but it’s a great way to seek balance in your life. Each of us probably naturally leans towards one or two of these, and we’d ignore others without being intentional.

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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