His Heart Is Bigger Than His Brain

“Forgive him. His heart is bigger than his brain.”

That was supposed to be a funny put-down of cousin Eddie by Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation. It implies that he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the candleabra, so to speak.

The phrase sort of stuck in my brain, so I meditated on it for a while.

It occurred to me that this has practical implications. I am by nature an analytical person. I tend to think about things a lot. My university education reinforced that tendency. But as I got deeper into spiritual practices and I discovered that other people really do exist, my attitude toward the message in the Bible changed.

John Ortberg captured the idea with a sentence in a message he gave a few years ago–“You see, Jesus is most interested in the condition of your heart.”

Paul reinforced that a few times in his writing where he would tell his story about being an intellectual and then having a life-changing transformation.

Jesus and Paul were not anti-intellectual (the “brain” part). Indeed, they were both scholars. I think that there is nothing in the New Testament that does not emphasize the condition of your heart. Perhaps summed up succinctly by James who emphsized that if your heart is right, then your actions will be right. One follows the other as day follows night.

Exercising our brain is good. We need to study in order to have background and depth for faith.

Our hearts need to be bigger than our brains. It is not enough to study and gain knowledge. We need to have our hearts fixed on Jesus and let our actions flow from that. Indeed, our study will also flow from that posture.

We develop our brains through study and thinking. We develop our hearts through trusting Jesus as our guide and saviour, living a life of putting others ahead of ourselves, practicing prayer, meditation, service, worship, celebration.

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One Response to “His Heart Is Bigger Than His Brain”

  1. Carl Henning Says:

    Reminds me of a tract I saw long ago: “Missing Heaven by 18 Inches” (the distance between brain and heart).

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