Friday, September 01, 2006

Right, but not wholeheartedly

Once again I haven't been able to get away from something that jumped out at me in my Bible study this week. I was reading about Amaziah, King of Judah in 2 Chronicles 25 and verse 2 jumped out at me. "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly." (NIV) The New King James Version says "but not with a loyal heart."

How often am I guilty of doing something right but not wholeheartedly? More often than I care to admit, especially when it comes to housecleaning. I often remind my children that it's okay to do what is right but if you don't do it with the right attitude it's not as good as it can be. Reading Kim's recent blog entry "Before you start looking for birds..." was a good reminder to me to make sure I'm doing right before I harp on them. I need to be sure that I am doing things wholeheartedly, and not just doing what is right while grumbling the whole time that I'm doing it.

The story of Amaziah is also told in 2 Kings 14. Verse 3 says "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash." My last post, Look at me and do likewise, talked about the importance of striving to be a good example for others but the story of Amaziah shows that following good examples are not enough.

Amaziah followed the example of his father Joash (you can read about him in 2 Kings 11-12 and 2 Chronicles 23-24). Joash was good but only as long as he had the guidance of Jehoiada. 2 Chronicles 24:2 says "Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest." When Jehoiada wasn't around to guide him anymore Joash didn't know how to do right on his own. He was doing what was right because he was told what was right and not because he knew it in his heart. Amaziah learned how to do what was right from watching his father do what was right but he didn't know how to do it from the heart.

How important it is, especially as parent's, that we go beyond being a good example and show the importance of the heart being right. I'm off on a bunny trail of studying scriptures that talk about wholeheartedness in an attempt to learn how to do this. I'm sure you'll be hearing about what I learn eventually. :-)