Undivided Heart

It can be tempting to compartmentalize our life. When we do this, how we approach the work part or the coaching part of our life can be very different than how we approach the family part or the spiritual part of our life. Sometimes coaches can be one type of person when they’re in a Bible study and a very different type of person when they’re in the midst of coaching situations. These coaches usually aren’t trying to be deceptive. They just think of the coaching part of their life as being separate from the spiritual part of their life.

As we continue these devotions on the “Beatitudes” portion of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, here’s what Jesus says next about what it means to live under his reign as our King: “Blessed are those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8). What does Jesus mean when he talks about being pure in heart – and what does this have to do with being a coach?

In the Bible, the “heart” refers to the center or core of who we are. It’s about more than emotions. It also encompasses our mind and our will. To have a heart that is pure is to be characterized by the purity and holiness of Christ at the core of who we are. There’s another nuance to what Jesus is saying that’s helpful to understand. To be pure in heart also means to have an undivided heart. It’s to have a single-minded, sincere desire to live for Jesus as our King in every area of our life.

The prayer of Psalm 86:11 puts it this way: “give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” To fear God’s name is not to be afraid of him. Rather, it’s to live with such awe and reverence for him – recognizing he is our King and the “great King over all the earth” (Psa. 47:2) – that our overwhelming desire is to honor him. In contrast to a compartmentalized perspective on life, having an undivided heart it to cultivate a single-minded commitment to live for the honor of our King in every area.

This includes how we understand being a coach. We no longer view coaching as separate from the spiritual “compartment” of our life. How we approach coaching is included in our single-minded pursuit of living for Jesus. To be pure in heart is to desire to honor Christ in how we think, speak, and act while coaching in the same way we would if we were in a Bible study or with our family. Jesus is King over all our life!

According to Jesus, as our hearts are undivided in seeking to live for him, we receive the blessing of seeing God. That is, we’ll grow in knowing God in deeper ways, experiencing greater closeness with him, and having the privilege of seeing him work in and through us – including as we coach.

How can this be true of you, Coach? Keep sharpening your focus on Jesus. Foundationally, this is about trusting him and his work to transform your heart: shaping your identity and character according to who he is. Consistently spend time with Jesus through studying God’s Word and talking with him in prayer. Ask him to show you where your heart is divided, following other “kings” or agendas. Daily express your desire to coach and live single-mindedly for the Lord. As you do so, you’ll experience the deep joy of seeing him more and more!

For reflection: Confess the ways in which you’ve been living with a compartmentalized perspective, especially when it comes to coaching. Receive the Lord’s forgiveness and grace, and express your desire to respond to his work of transforming you at the core of who you are. Pray that God would give you an undivided heart.