In Simon Sinek’s best seller, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, he states that there are “two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.” His conclusion is obviously that it is better to inspire than to manipulate. When we speak of inspiring someone, we’re really talking about reaching their heart. We’re seeking to influence not just what they do, and not just how they do it, but why they do it. If you succeed in that, you have touched their heart.
Our Lord, who made and is sovereign over the heart, completely realizes this. It’s the reason that 1st Samuel 16:7 tells us that God is concerned with the heart, and not just the outward action. He’s not pleased with the basketball player who scored 40 points if he did it all for himself; he’s not pleased with the clean room if the child was grumbling the whole time; and he’s not pleased with the lip service we give him in worship if our hearts are not desiring Him.
This is not to say that our Lord only looks at our hearts in order to discipline. He is one who also looks toward His children favorably, desiring to bless and not curse. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says that, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Brothers and Sisters in Christ, our Lord looks to strengthen and encourage our hearts, so that the why of how we do what we do will be pleasing to Him.
Rev. Darol Timberlake, Assistant Pastor