Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. I remember singing this scripture to a little tune in Sunday school growing up and doing a little dance with motions to reflect the words of the song and the love I have for the Lord. A different motion represented the words “all my heart”, “all my soul”, “all my mind” and “all my strength.” Ya know, friends, I’ve got to say, it is a whole lot easier to sing and dance to this biblical command as a child than to act it out as an adult. As an adult, just doing fun motions won’t cut it anymore. Those motions need to be actions. You actually have to put this command and, yes, this is a command, into action. It is the first commandment that Jesus gives us in Matthew 22:37. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
In a funny, odd sort of way, I think that little game we used to play as kids, where we rubbed our tummies and patted our heads at the same time, would more actually depict this verse. To love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind can feel like major multitasking. It takes will, concentration and focus to master all of those things at the same time. Is it even humanly possible? To be honest, there are times when I can love the Lord my God with all of my heart and with all my soul, but my mind has trouble going all in. Perhaps it’s so hard to let your mind completely go because loving totally means complete trust and total surrender. Loving fearlessly means to love with everything in you and that is a challenge.
I am six on the enneagram (a personality test I highly recommend taking). There are nine numbers that represent nine different personality types on an enneagram chart. A test is taken to find out what number you are, but the bottom line has to do with a person’s biggest fears and biggest desires. You won’t understand everything about an enneagram until you read and study about it, but I’ll try to explain it as I make my point about loving God.
There are three centres on an enneagram chart that point to the basic feelings behind the actions of the people who fall into that category. I’ll just let you read a paragraph from an enneagram site to help explain:
The nine Enneagram types are grouped into three centres: Body (Instinctive/Gut/Belly), Heart (Feeling), and Head (Thinking), with three Enneagram types in each centre. Body centre contains types 8, 9 and 1 are formed as a response to anger. Heart centre contains types 2, 3 and 4 are formed as a response to shame, and create a self-image. Head centre contains types 5, 6 and 7 are formed as a response to fear or anxiety.
Basically, there are people whose actions are displayed and thoughts are formed because of and centered in the body, heart or mind. Pause– go back and look at where a 6 is. I’m a 6 so my headspace is right in the middle, between types 5 and 7, and all of them had the head or mind as the center. It’s interesting that in this in-depth personality test, I would discover what God was talking about from the beginning. It’s also interesting that of the three—heart, soul and mind–I would struggle most with my mind, which is what a 6 finds it’s center. The next paragraph in this article I was reading shook me to the core. Keep reading this excerpt from the book:
No matter what Enneagram type we are, we have all the three centres in us, and they interact with each other, we cannot work on one centre without affecting the other two.
In fact, the centre that our Enneagram type resides, it is the psyche (makeup) that we are least able to function freely because its function has been blocked or distorted by our ego.
This sentence validates my struggle to multitask by saying you cannot work on one without affecting the other. But it also exposes the reason my mind struggles the most with the love part. My mind has not been able to function freely, because my ego is in the way. As many of us know the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is selfishness. When we let self get in the way, we tend to let ego, control, and fear block the way to love.
It may sound funny to think about an ego when you talk about your heart, your body or instincts, or your mind, but I can see how this is very true. Brene Brown in her book Dare to Lead speaks of ego as her, “inner hustler. It is the voice in my head that drives pretending, performing, pleasing, and perfecting.”
Being someone whose center is in her headspace (mind), I struggle with fear and anxiety, but I also use my mind to find my strength. My mind can become the safety net when I’m going through hard things. I use reasoning to cope. A man name Ryan O’Neal does a podcast on enneagrams called In the Sleeping at Last. In his sixth song, which is about enneagram number 6, he is spot on with his lyrics, “these invisible walls just might keep us safe.”
My mind cast visions, dreams, ideas, and deep thoughts. It also cast visions of worst-case scenarios that could happen and nightmares, self-doubt, and whispers of irrational fears. But to give my mind fully over to those fears would mean to surrender the control of what I see is my selfish strength. So, in a worst-case scenario, I have this weird self-centeredness that gives me warning, if you will, and an invisible wall of protection. But a self-centered false security does not come with peace. In fact, it comes with a lot of fear and wasted time of worry because I know I will not be able to protect myself or others around me from the thing I am fearing. My invisible walls will not stand and the attacks are unpredictable.
As I look at this concept of loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, I have to wonder if I will ever be able to get to the point of fully loving with all of those parts in me. Then I remember the verse that says perfect love casts out all fear. The part of you that seems the hardest to fully let go of is probably the part of you that leads you to the most fear. Even though it’s difficult to surrender, it is necessary for total peace. Read these verses that I found on mind, heart, and soul.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Psalm 73:26 – My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Philippians 4:7 – and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you
Our human heart, body, and mind will fail us. God does not ask us to get it together – He asks us to trust and to find peace in Him. It all points to trust and trust requires a surrendered spirit to the Lord. When we do that, we will be able to function and live freely in peace – in your everyday life, with the world around you, with your own self, and with God.
No matter what your enneagram number is or where you find yourself centered, you can not allow that to be an excuse for why you struggle. You have to find some humility to admit you can not humanly, by your own strength, be centered in all three aspects of what makes you who you are. The only power that can center you in all three aspects of you is in the One who created you. When you find yourself centered in Him and fully loving Him by the power of His spirit then every part of you can freely live. That is the moment you will begin to fully live out the life He has commanded you to.
I am the same way! I won’t let myself fully love and let my falls down out of fear of losing my loved ones from death. I feel that if I dont let myself love them deeply then it won’t hurt as bad when or if I lose them. I also don’t let myself enjoy things out of fear of one day not getting to do them anymore. Basically, I struggle with enjoying the now with what and who I have out of fear of it one day not being the same.
This is very inspiring, Sadie. Thank you. I truly want to feel peace and love for my God with all my heart, soul, and mind. Really, so deeply. But I’m just a kid struggling with my emotions alone. I want to surrender it all to Him but it’s hard when you don’t even know how or if it’s done. I pray that He’ll equip me and guide me the right way, and I am still waiting, but its difficult not to be doubtful I’m on the right track or doing what He is trying to tell me. For clarity is what I need most right now. My mind is a puzzle of emotions, practical nonsense, nonsense itself, and the questions, “am I doing what You want me to?? Have I given all I am to you? Am I tripping over a rock, right now? Why aren’t I feeling YOU, Lord?” It’s hard to live for God at an age when you are still figuring out the world. But without a doubt I’d give up my life for Him. I’m just stuck at where I’m at with the relationship I pursue to have with Him.
I have never had a boyfriend, and I look around me to see all of my friends having one. When I try to hangout in groups I always feel like a 3rd wheel when all I want to feel is a sense of distraction from relationships. Any tips?
I needed to read this! Thank you for sharing what the Lord put on your heart Sadie??
god is so good!!
wow! i was just journaling about this yesterday- how this commandment is so hard to follow. this was super helpful!! thanks sadie:-)
Thank you so much for this post! I have found myself struggling with this so much lately. Whenever I find myself not surrendering myself to god in a certain aspect I start to get anxious and I feel like I need to get it together, and I try and do that in all the wrong ways! This is such a good reminder to look to our Heavenly Father in those times and submit our hearts to our all-knowing and loving God who will never turn us away.
Sadie!!!!!! You’ve blessed me with this today. The verses you mentioned are the ones I’ve repeated to God over and over again as I pray. Thank you so much❤️
Wow, I absolutely loved this! I have never taken the enneagram test before, but I have a feeling that I also let my mind cause a lot of the fear that happens in my life. Loving God with my heart and soul is something I do not struggle with as much as I do with my mind. Thank you for this! I absolutely needed to hear this!
Thank you, you came right on time x
Soooo good ? Love you Sadie!
I didn’t even know I needed this post until I started reading it! I never really put much thought into this verse, but it is so important to live by! I haven’t noticed that I wasn’t loving God with all 3 and now I know what to work on. Thank you!
God bless your soul, Sadie. I know that this is For speaking through you to me because to be honest tonight, i cried to God and i found myself in a state of brokeness looking for peace and something that was empty in me. I knew that before today my mind and my heart was not completely surrendered to God i was not loving him with all of me, due to my ego. I realised that the Lord Jesus Christ does not expect me to get it together all on my own which I thought I was messed up for not having it all together. The holy spirit has opened my understanding that I could comprehend that all he requires of me is trust. Thank you so much sadie for allowing the Holy spirit to guide you. I PRAISE JESUS for your spiritual sensitivity. I am truly grateful to Jesus Crist because he has answered my prayers for he promissed to never forsake us. Amen.
I have been struggling with this very thing lately. Thank you for laying it out so simply. I am intrigued by the enneagram test and look forward to reading more about It. Thank you for loving Jesus so much that you share him with those of us around you.
I don’t always read these, but when I do I almost always feel this tug on my heart… it’s almost like God himself is saying “this message is for you Jolie. Read and understand it”
So thank you for helping me with my walk with Jesus Christ.
Wow. I have never really put much thought into that verse. But I’ve always struggled with giving God every part of me; my heart, my soul, and my mind. I have always been one to put up walls to protect myself. However, I’ve come to the realization of even put up walls with God. I selfishly refuse to give him every part of me and it has only left me with the feeling of not being in tune with God. Thank you so much for sharing Sadie. I believe this will speak to so many people. ❤️
Hi Sadie, I struggle with fear as well. Sometimes I avoid situations (like ministry) that brings out that fear. But God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love (for him and others), and a sound mind.
So beautifully said.Personally I believe God could absolutely use you to reach the young people in this world but only you know what God has called you to do.I was amazed at your wisdom and the joy of the Lord came over me.Your such a beautiful person inside and out.
Gosh I love this! Surrendering is so key, and it’s always the thing I need to be reminded of.
Wow! This is so powerful and I really needed to hear this. Thank you for including the bible verses too! You are amazing!
I love this post! The Enneagram is my favorite thing, so this article really spoke to me.
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I absolutely love this. This is the motivation to everything! From the first paragraph, I can see God in you. It’s just so amazing!!