Heart, Soul, Hands, Face

Thoughts on Deuteronomy 11 (part 2.1)

“”You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I think the first half of the chapter explained the What and Why, and then the second half explains the How.

Since laying up God’s word in one’s heart and soul is obviously meant figuratively, binding them as a sign on one’s hand, and as frontlets between one’s eyes must also be meant figuratively. Although, I am not surprised that people have taken this part literally.

Putting visual reminders around us, especially our hands and head, can be effective. The WWJD bracelet was a huge fad back in the day. I had one and wore them – not because of the fad – but because of a genuine desire to be reminded to be constantly thinking about Jesus. And, just like frontlets, it also served a second purpose of letting everyone who see me (my hands) know about this desire and be reminded themselves.

It worked for a time, until it didn’t. I took them off, never to wear them again. Is it because the fad died down? It did, but that wasn’t the reason. The reason was because of small compromises that turned into big sins. Guilt took over, and I was ashamed, that even with this glaring reminder in bold letters, literally in the palm of my hand, I failed and made mistakes.

In retrospect, I was just a new Christian then. I was just learning about Spiritual Discipline, Sanctification, what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit, etc. I still am. The failure is maybe because I needed to have a more comprehensive strategy – definitely more than just putting a rubber bracelet on my wrist.

God’s Word should be evident in four fronts:

  • Heart: How I think
  • Soul: How I feel
  • Hands: How I act and work
  • Eyes (Face): How others see me

Nothing wrong with having external reminders. I still use them. But just mottos, catchphrases, or bite sized verse reminders are not enough.

Knowledge without Action is useless. Action without Knowledge is futile.

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