Devotion. When I hear the word I imagine the love of a mother, or the commitment of a husband caring for a sick wife, perhaps a businesswoman working tirelessly for a company she believes in, or a minister or teacher serving selflessly. Devoted is a good word we use to describe good people. But devotion has to be more than simply the destination for our committed affections. Shouldn’t whatever or whoever our devotion is connected to be a worthy cause? Many people have done horrible things with radical devotion.
Recently I was reading through the Beatitudes of Jesus recorded in Matthew 5. One of them calls out the pure in heart. As I was learning about this description of these who can see God, I learned that when Jesus used the phrase pure in heart, he was describing more than just one’s emotions. He was defining more than the feeling of devotion. He was describing a different understanding of what devotion should be. Heart in the first century would’ve included “thoughts, reasonings, understanding, will, judgment, designs, affections, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow, and anger.”* In other words, everything you really are. In our contemporary way of thinking we tend to separate emotions and thought. And often that is a good thing! But oh, how this little reminder helped me to understand the most important things in life a little better. Devotion is more about who I am than who or what I love. To be a woman of devotion I need to be aware of the many things that pull me in different directions so I can become more single-minded in my commitments. My days on this earth are limited and I don’t want them to be wasted, I want them to be devoted to what matters most!
*Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study New Testament.
Jamy Fisher is a wife and mom of three who has served alongside her pastor husband, Todd Fisher, for 26 years. They currently serve at Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee where she teaches a weekly Bible Study and is active in Women’s Ministry.