Our Whole Heart
Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
“What a man is before God, that he is and nothing more”
-St Francis of Assisi
Delilah said to him, “How can you say you ‘I love you’ when your heart is not with me?…So Sampson told her all that was in his heart…when Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lord of the Philistines…and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair…she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Sampson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had abandoned him. (Judges 16:15-20 ESV)
Sampson. Powerful and strong. It is interesting that his strength was not really in his hair. His strength was in his heart. He was a Nazirite. The Hebrew word nazir means “consecrated” or “separated”. And it was by choice. His mother Manoah had dedicated him to this Nazirite vow before his birth. However, Hebrew law required that when he was old enough to understand, he recommit his life…permanently…to this vow. His heart belonged solely to his God. Until he gave it up to Delilah.
In a similar story, Amaziah served as king in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 25:2 records this indictment, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.” Again, the original Hebrew language gives incredible insight into this verse. The word “perfect” – shalem, denotes “complete”… “full”… “finished”. Most of Amaziah’s heart was God’s. But he had saved out a little portion for himself. In the end, he was defeated and captured by Joash.
Could it be that many of the struggles in our Christian walk can be traced back to the same issue that Sampson and Amaziah had? A heart that is not “perfect” toward God. Those tiny areas that we hang onto for ourselves. The hidden parts. It has been said, “You’re only as sick as your secrets”. Perhaps that is why the Psalmist David pleaded “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me” Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV) Again in Psalm 19:12 “…cleanse thou me from secret faults” (KJV)
The “grace” piece in all of this, is that God will do just that. He will show you the fragment of your heart that is not His. His Light will shine in the dark places of your heart to reveal the “secret place”. The sin that we cover, He will uncover – the sin that we uncover, He will cover. Surrender your whole heart to Him. Without a doubt, it will turn your life around.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who recently married Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.
Posted on: Feb. 14, 2017, 2 p.m.