“How far is heaven? Not far really. Just 18 inches, the distance from your head to your heart.”
I’ve heard variations of that statement quite a few times. I recently saw it in a witness tract, encouraging people to not only know about Jesus but to come to know Him personally. And that is a good and valid point. I appreciate that emphasis.
But I kind of wonder where the complimentary tract is to be found. You know the one that talks about having all heart and no brains. After all isn’t it true that a person can be very sincere in their beliefs–giving their whole heart to them–and still end up in hell because they very sincerely worshipped a pig-god named Steve?
In actuality that guy doesn’t exist*. The dude who sincerely worships a pig-god named Steve doesn’t do it because he’s an idiot. He worships a pig-god because he is a rebel. And in the same way the guy that intellectually understands the gospel but just can’t bridge that 18 inches—he’s a rebel too.
The Bible does not like to create a chasm between head and heart. We do.
“Why didn’t you walk around the hole?” asked the Tin Woodman.
“I don’t know enough,” replied the Scarecrow cheerfully. “My head is
stuffed with straw, you know, and that is why I am going to Oz to ask
him for some brains.”
“Oh, I see,” said the Tin Woodman. “But, after all, brains are not the
best things in the world.”
“Have you any?” inquired the Scarecrow.
“No, my head is quite empty,” answered the Woodman. “But once I had
brains, and a heart also; so, having tried them both, I should much
rather have a heart….”
“All the same,” said the Scarecrow, “I shall ask for brains instead of
a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had
“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman; “for brains do not
make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”
We have, says Guinness, made the Tin Woodman’s choice. And it’s a choice that the Scriptures do not make. The biblical picture is that head and heart are interdependent. One serves the other. We are whole people that are wholly redeemed by God.
If there is a chasm between your head and your heart it doesn’t really matter from which end you started the dig. If you’re all head then you need to repent of a cold and dead orthodoxy. After all Satan could ace every doctrine test a seminary through at him. But he doesn’t treasure truth—and it doesn’t cause him to break out into doxology.
So also if you are somehow “all heart” but don’t care much about digging out the Scriptures you are just as rebellious as the cold yet orthodox guy. The Bible says that it’s both/and.
Love and dig.
Dig and love.
We shouldn’t put friends like this in the boxing ring.
*Not the pig guy…he might exist.