Did you ever have great plans to do a particular thing but just kept putting it off? The Corinthians did. Paul says they had planned “a year ago” to send relief to the poor saints of Jerusalem (2Cor. 8:10). In order to motivate them to get on with the doing of it he uses the poor Macedonians as an example (2Cor. 8:1-4). The Corinthians were much wealthier than the Macedonians. Yet, the Macedonians are used as an example of giving. Their example was not one of how much they gave but what they gave. They gave of themselves first (2Cor. 8: 5). Their giving was one of the heart. The difference between the Macedonians and the Corinthians was their heart.
How is it in athletics that a team who appears to be far superior loses to a team seemingly less talented? It is their heart. The less talented team plays with heart. Just as with the Macedonians, that which makes the difference between success and failure is heart. So it is with us today. Heart determines how and what we do.
For example, talent is not the determining factor for success. How many talented people have settled for mediocrity? Yet, a person with less talent in a given field excels the more talented. One’s heart makes the difference.
Further, intelligence does not make the difference in success or failure. How many intelligent people have been out done by someone who worked hard but was not as intelligent? It is one’s heart that makes the difference.
Also, how is it a person who has been a Christian for years has not grown past the basic elements of the gospel, yet a person who has been a Christian for a short period of time has out grown them? It is their heart.
Therefore, the single most important element in our service to God is our heart. That does not diminish what we do. For, if we serve with our whole heart and first give of ourselves, the “do” will naturally follow. “It is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasures” (Phil. 2:13).