Sunday, September 19, 2010

Divided Hearts

“No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16: 13

All of us are followers. We’re all going to follow someone or something in life. We were created to follow; created to follow God. But we have a choice. God is not going to make us follow Him. He wants us to freely choose Him, but then once we do, He wants us to follow Him completely. He doesn’t want us to give lip service to discipleship, but in reality serve another. Jesus is not looking for people who are willing to spread their loyalties around. He is looking for authentic, 100% sold out, committed followers who are willing to try to love Him as much as He loved us first.

We can certainly choose not to follow Jesus. I have encountered many such people. And sometimes they were once people of faith. Once they were followers of Jesus. But now they would tell you they “think for themselves” or that they “are free to do what they want”. But the reality is that they are still followers. They are just following someone or something other than Jesus at this point.

So we have to ask ourselves two questions: 1) Who am I going to serve? Jesus or the world? And 2) If our answer is Jesus, then am I doing it with my whole heart? These questions are so important to our life as disciples. Think about it this way: the heart beating right now inside your chest is whole. Four chambers, working together, in rhythm, with one goal and purpose. But let’s say your heart was split in two. What would happen? You’d be dead. In the same way, if our desires are not completely unified with God’s desires, then our heart is split and we are spiritually dead. Of course this is hard because there is so much competing for our hearts: money, fame, popularity, sex, attention, beauty, prestige, accomplishment, etc. And then Jesus comes calling us to simplicity, humility…smallness; to be like little children. And yet, as young people, so often all you want to do is grow-up.

But what do we get when we follow after the things of this world? At best we have disappointment or dissatisfaction and at worst we have emptiness and despair. Doesn’t it make more sense to follow after the one who made our hearts and our desires and ordered them in such a fashion as to desire Him? As St. Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless O Lord, until they rest in Thee.” May we seek after Jesus, find Him and then give Him our whole, undivided hearts, with all their imperfections, wounds and restlessness that we may be at peace.

Dear Jesus, give me the grace to follow You every day with my whole heart. I want to follow You. Amen.

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