Max Heart Rate

Ready “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” - Colossians 3:23 (NIV, 1984)

Many endurance athletes measure their level of effort during workouts or competitions by monitoring their percent of maximum heart rate. They identify their "max HR" by using a specific testing method either in the lab or real-life settings such as a track. Then, based on that number, they can review future performances in the context of that maximum effort data. While specific interpretation of the data varies based on a coach, the sport and the athlete, it can be quite beneficial in determining the actual effort put forth in a specific setting.

Recently when I was reading Colossians 3:23, I thought about a heart rate monitor. What if I were to wear a heart rate monitor on a daily basis, but instead of it measuring my heart rate during a workout it measured my "Heart" (with a capital H)—the effort I put forth as a representative of Christ—in every activity? As athletes, we're extremely good at pushing ourselves for the sake of a race or a workout. We can dig deep, push aside our body's desire to stop the pain, and bring home a top-level performance in the face of great odds. But if we really read Colossians 3:23, we see that Paul didn't say, "When you're working out or racing, work at it with all your heart." Nope. That would be easy for us, wouldn't it? Instead, he said WHATEVER we do we must work at it with all our hearts. 


That means when I'm participating in a meeting at work, treating a patient, taking out the trash, washing dishes at home, returning an email, or … You get the idea. WHATEVER I'm doing—anything at all—I'm called by my ultimate Coach to work at it with all my heart to my maximum heart rate. Doing so will bring glory to God and help me develop a closer relationship with Him as I lean on Him for strength, guidance and power.

Today, examine your heart as you move through your daily activities and find out what areas of your life are not being done wholeheartedly for the Lord. Ask Him to help you change and to view each task as a way of bringing Him glory. Then, with His strength, put your all into whatever you do and shoot for your own maximum heart rate.

  1. How does my max heart rate in my daily pursuits stack up in comparison to my max heart rate during athletics?
  2. In what ways does working wholeheartedly for the Lord bring Him glory? How does it help me grow spiritually?
  3. In what areas am I not working for Him with my whole heart?
  4. What are some tangible reminders that can help me raise my max spiritual heart rate in daily life?
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31
  • Colossians 3:17
  • James 1:4
Bible Reference: 
James 1