I was a fourth-year medical student, rotating on my hematology-oncology elective. My preceptor was reviewing the history and laboratory data of a patient who had a rare blood disorder.
“We have several treatment options, which one should we choose?”
I confidently rattled off the options and presented my reasons for selecting what I surmised was the optimal treatment. Listening intently, he nodded and with a measured response stated, “You’re half right, but not for the reasons you think!”
He explained the therapeutic approach and challenged me to review the disease and explain my error. Chagrined, I researched the topic that evening and realized I had an incomplete understanding of the biochemical pathways. I shook my head and resolved to be more diligent with my studies.
And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.
2 Chronicles 25:2 (ESV)
Amaziah was the King of Judah. He started out strong and committed to serving God, avenging the villains who murdered his father, King Joash. God blessed him and led him to victory over the Edomites but at a great cost. Amaziah was seduced into worshipping the gods of the Edomites, encouraging the rest of Judah to follow his blasphemous example. God punished Amaziah who was eventually killed by the King of Israel.
There have been many times I have been half right or have not approached a task with a whole heart. The results are usually mixed and like my encounter in medical school, embarrassment may be the worst outcome. However, I don’t ever want to be half right with God. God desires for me to serve and love Him freely with a whole heart, not from compulsion but from gratitude for what He has done for me. When I fail, it is because I have an incomplete understanding of who God is and a faith that is weak and unwilling to surrender my will to God’s.
Half right and not with a whole heart-a sure recipe for failure with God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.