Some rationalize their disregard for doing what is right because they say their “hearts are not in it” and they “don’t want to be hypocrites.” They may consider themselves to be off the hook in neglecting prayer, Bible study or church attendance because they don’t “feel it,” but of course they are not. God will not shrug his proverbial shoulders and say, “Well then, if you don’t feel it, don’t bother.”
Instead of abandoning our Christian duties because we feel inauthentic, God calls us to adjust our attitude and mindset. The psalmist says of God, “You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently” (Psalm 119:4). The Hebrew word translated “diligently” is the same word we find in Deuteronomy 6:5 where you and I are told to love the Lord “with all of our might.” It involves mental effort, gumption, determination, focus and thoughtfulness. Consider David who seems to be concerned about “going through the motions” of worship, when he turns his exhortation to his own soul and mind: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
The neglectful are correct when they admit inauthenticity is a problem, but their proposed remedy is ruinous. We must never walk away from the Lord’s commands when we feel weak or lethargic, instead, with the Spirit’s help, we must retool and retune our hearts to sincerely and wholeheartedly engage in keeping his precepts.