All Your Heart

Travis West

READ : Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Matthew 12:33-37

Love the Lord your God with all your heart. (Deut. 6:5)

In 1964 the Righteous Brothers recorded a surprise hit single titled “You've Lost That Loving Feeling.” It quickly rose to the top of the billboard charts. In fact, according to Broadcast Music, Inc., this song got more play time on the air than any other song in the twentieth century. Perhaps this was because it captures something fundamental to our culture's understanding of love—that it is primarily a feeling, an emotion; that it is unstable and ephemeral; that it comes and goes. The headquarters of love, we say, is the heart, and so the heart takes on all the associated meanings of love—emotional, subjective, untrustworthy. The mind, though, is its opposite—intellectual, objective, and consistent.

The Hebrews, however, did not divide between the heart and the mind. Lev (the word for “heart”) is often translated as “mind.” In fact, Hebrew has no word for “mind.” The heart is equally the center of one's emotions and intellect; you both feel and think with your heart. In other words, humans are not a division of mind and heart, but a unity of both.

To love God with “all” of our “heart,” then, suggests that everything we do—from thinking to making decisions to speaking to being in relationships—is an expression of the state of our hearts. Consider the ways that you can love God and your neighbor not only when you feel like it, but all the time.


Help me to love you with all my heart.