Use Your Head and Your Heart

Use Your Head and Your Heart

05 August 2010

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 23; 2 Chronicles 35; John 7


“Don't be nitpickers; use your head—and heart!—to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right." (John 7:24 MSG)

Jesus had caused quite a stir in Jerusalem a few months earlier when he miraculously healed a man. When he arrived back in Jerusalem for Passover, the curiosity and controversy picked up where it left off earlier. The priests, the Jewish officials, and the crowds were trying to figure out if he was a good guy or a bad guy. He did good works, but he did them at the wrong time (Sabbath). He said good words, but he also said God was his Father!

Jesus was often in trouble with the legalists – the people who think it’s more important to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” than to do what really makes sense. Jesus told them, “People, this isn’t rocket science we’re talking about here. If you use your head and your heart, you’ll be able to know whether this is right.”

There’s a tendency to use head or heart. Jesus said, “Use your head and heart!” That can produce conflict when you have “head people” and “heart people” trying to work something out. It can produce conflict within oneself when you have to weigh the conflicting interests and viewpoints of head and heart and make a difficult decision.

I remember a physics teacher in college – this was from the days of slide rules and pencils – who said, “Do the calculation, but before you write your answer, take a moment and give it the common sense test. Does it really make sense?”

It’s easy to get caught up in policies, procedures, traditions, and technicalities and forget to apply the common sense test. I want to be a “head and heart” person. I want the maturity and perspective that allows me to weigh the factors, think conflicting thoughts, see conflicting viewpoints, and then determine what is “authentically right.”

Use your head and your heart. That’s not easy. But it’s what I want.


Father, Please help me to increasingly become a “head and heart” thinker who has the maturity and insight to wrestle with the difficult issues and to discern and test what is authentically right – what is right in your eyes. Amen.

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