After hearing a heartfelt talk from preacher George MacDonald, the Dean of Yale Divinity School at the time commented, “His heart was his work, and his delivery was effective because it rested upon the genuine beauty of his own inner life.” MacDonald so clearly communicated about his own heart and faith that it “beget faith in the minds and hearts of all his hearers.”
This story was told in Dale Carnegie’s The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking, and Carnegie goes on to say that putting your heart into your work allows you to freely communicate. He admits that this advice isn’t popular because it’s vague and without definite rules that we all like to follow. And yet “that is the secret.”
If we can learn how to rest “on the genuine beauty of our inner life,” we are freed to work with our whole being. Although this story was told in the context of communication and public speaking, isn’t it true for all areas of our lives?
When I am frazzled and each day feels fragmented, it’s often because my outer life isn’t aligned with my inner life. I have misplaced affections. I am resting after work instead of working out of rest. Yet when my inner life is centered around the Truth, I am freed. It’s no longer me trying to do the work within me; Christ has already done the work. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). And living out of this freedom is beautiful because I am no longer trying to prove myself. I am free to live into who God created me to be, put my heart into my work without making it my identity, and rest on the beauty of this truth.
However like Dale Carnegie said, this isn’t a step-by-step guide. There are no rules to follow to get you to this place. And I am still very much learning all of this and write mainly as a reminder for myself.
We are on a journey, yet we have hope in ultimate redemption and freedom.