This final core competency is a practical one. Mark 12:30 says to love God with all your strength. Much has been made in recent years about a person’s core strength. Someone’s core strength is made up of the large muscle groups in a person like the chest, back and so on. It is the combined power of all these muscle groups. Developing the core of a person means they will have more agility, more power, better posture, and the ability to accomplish everyday tasks with more ease and less energy. Focusing on one area of fitness does not enhance ones core strength. To develop more core strength, a person must focus on every aspect of who they are and be intentional about developing every muscle group.
For a Christian to develop more strength it is similar to someone who is working out trying to develop more core strength. Nothing can be neglected for a person to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. For example if all a person does is read and develop deep theological understanding, they may not have the ability to pay their bill because their finances are all out of balance. If a believer is deeply involved at church serving but does not continually fall in love with his spouse, their marriage will be shaky at best. A fully devoted follower needs to be handling all the areas of the life in a way that honors God in order to be the most effective Christian they can be.
When Mark talks about loving God with all your strength that means we must love God with everything we do. Every relationship, business venture, activity, and anything else a person spends energy on must be done to show God how much we love Him. Christians need to endeavor to be the best at anything they do because everything we do reflects on the greatness of God. That means that believers must love their spouse so people can see the greatness of God in that relationship. Believers must conduct themselves ethically in business because God’s nature is reflected in our business practices. One of the most famous verses in the Bible is in Colossians where it says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."1
Believers seeking to follow God with their whole being need to spend time studying how to manage their finances, relationships, and every other thing they find themselves involved in. The areas that believer over looks will be the areas that Satan will use to in order to make a believer ineffective at growing God’s kingdom and will be a obstruction in their desire to develop into a fully devoted follower of Christ.
1 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Col 3:23–24.