Our boys were blessed with some great football coaches when they were in high school. They worked their players hard. Let me tell you, they conditioned them well, and they produced champions. One lesson the coaches taught our team certainly went against their natural instincts. I mean, no one is real anxious to get injured. A player’s natural tendency is to hold back a little when they’re making a hit on another player, or when they’re blocking, or when they’re tackling so they won’t get hurt. You know, you want to be careful so you’re not injured. Well, the coaches tell you that’s a mistake; that’s the best way to get hurt is to play tentatively, play half-heartedly. Here’s how they put it, “Either give it all you’ve got or don’t play.” Okay.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Playing With All Your Heart.”
Our word for today from the Word of God is a verse that actually could be a life principle. It’s a motto that you could repeat to yourself often at work, playing sports, studying, doing dirty work, listening to someone, trying to finish a difficult job. Here’s the principle from God’s Word. It’s in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
The coach would like that. Whatever position you’re playing in life, don’t play tentatively. Throw yourself into it with everything you’ve got. In the words of Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” Whatever you do! If you asked our kids something that they heard over and over again growing up from their parents, they might very well tell you those four words that we tried to make a life motto, “with all your heart.” Jim Elliott, the martyred missionary and actually one of my personal heroes, said it this way, “Wherever you are, be all there!”
If you have to do something anyway, why not do it with everything you’ve got? If you have to be somewhere, why not be all there? I saw a little slice of wisdom on a kitchen wall plaque. It said, “Lord, help me do with a smile the things I have to do anyway.” That’s good.
God’s call to all of us who belong to Him is to be a 100-percenter in anything and everything we do. So when someone is talking with you, you listen with all your heart, as if they are the only person on earth and the only thing you have to do. When you work, you focus…you do it with all your heart. When it’s time to pray, you pray with all your heart. You play with all your heart. You study with all your heart. You help out with all your heart.
That’s the attitude of someone who knows that ultimately he or she is living a God-planned life. Now you might say, “Well, I don’t like the situation I’m in.” That shouldn’t be what determines your attitude. You make every situation the best it can be when you tackle it like the Bible says, “with all your might,” “with all your heart.”
Remember, God said whatever you do, do it with all your heart. And not just the things you feel like doing. There’s something actually very intoxicating, something magnetic about a person who enters into everything they do passionately and wholeheartedly. If you’ve ever known one of those kind of people, those “with all your heart” people, you know that kind of passion is a magnet that draws people.
Everything your hand finds to do, would you do it with intensity? In football, in everyday life, playing tentatively invites injury and it surely invites defeat. So like the coach says, “Either give it all you’ve got, or don’t play!”