Heart OVER Hands

My team loves to constantly talk through the idea of growing our leadership ability in three areas: our heart, our head, and our hands. We use that a a matrix for our coaching culture.

Our “heart” pertains to spiritual matters. If our spirit isn’t strong, we run to of gas to minister life to others. “Heart” is our passion, vision, motives, and driving force. This is the unseen behind what is seen. It’s ultimately about the why.

Our “head” pertains to our thinking. Our thinking determines the way we think and act. “Head” includes strategy, tactics, and approach. Leaders think differently than everyone else. Different thinking produces different results when it is partnered with the hands.

Our “hands” pertain to our skills. This is what we do specifically in our role. “Hands” is about the methods we use to get things done. It’s more about the “what” and the “how”.

All three are important for success in ministry. Sometimes however we concentrate on the less important things at the peril of the more important things. Jesus ran into this in Mark 3:1-5 (NLT).

Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.
He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 
And again in Mark 7:1-6 (NLT).
One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)
 So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”
 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.

Jesus’ enemies were more concerned with what Jesus was doing and when He was doing it rather than the heart behind it. They elevated “hands” over “heart”.  They were so concerned with their methods and traditions that they missed a miracle. They didn’t see the people Jesus was reaching.

They missed the “heart” of the law because they were so busy enforcing the “hands” of the law. They couldn’t see the spirit because they only saw the letter of the law.

Although this are quite LITERAL uses of Jesus’s enemies exalting hands over heart we can fall into the same trap today. They really were saying “that’s not the way we do it” or “you’re wrong because you reach people a different way than we do”. Have you ever said that?

How can we avoid having that same “Pharisee Spirit”?

  1. Value the who more than the what.
  2. Make the message more important than the method
  3. Keep the people you are called to serve more important than the plan you have.
  4. Make the creator the center of your creative process.

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