The Cleveland Cavs were beating the Boston Celtics by 21 points in the third quarter of last night’s game 3, and I’m sure most people thought the Cavs would take a 3-0 lead in the series. 

Just as the Cavs were probably thinking the same thing, the Celtics rallied with an incredible comeback that ended in a 111-108 win for Boston in front of Cleveland’s fans. 

Considering the Celtics’ best player, Isaiah Thomas, is out for the remainder of the playoffs with a hip injury, this was a remarkable feat. With the other players stepping up in his absence, and Avery Bradley shooting a game-winning 3, the finish was both exciting and impressive.

Although the outcome was shocking, no one could deny the magnitude of the Celtics’ character, grit, and determination. TNT’s game analyst, Chris Webber, spoke highly of their effort and made the comment, “heart trumps skills at times.”

Webber went on to explain how Boston’s heart got them over the hump and allowed them to overcome the talent of the Cavs. 

Seeing some drama in the conference finals was a nice change from the many blowouts so far. It’s always fascinating in sports when the less talented team is able to pull out a win because of their heart.

When a team relies on attitude, effort, belief, and perseverance to win against the favored team or the team with a significant lead, that is true heart. 

Webber’s insightful comment that “heart trumps skills” reminds me that all too often we mistakenly think the only way to serve God is by having amazing skills and impressive talents.

We work hard to get better at everything so that we stand out more and feel more worthy of being used, but when we put too much emphasis on our skills and forget about the heart that’s needed, we miss the point. 

Of course we want to grow and develop our skills and knowledge, but God places greater emphasis on using people with the right heart to bring Him glory. He wants us to have an obedient attitude, solid integrity, strong belief, and a deep desire to persevere and do His will.

When we look at people in the Bible, or others who have been mightily used by God, they aren’t always the most skillful or talented on paper, but they are the ones who are genuinely committed. They have the heart to serve God, and He in turn, gives them what they need to overcome what they lack. 

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT) tells us, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him…”

David writes in Psalm 40:8 (NLT), “I take joy in doing Your will, my God, for Your instructions are written on my heart.” 

The Cavs are clearly the more talented team in this series, but it’s going to be interesting to see how the heart of the Celtics impacts the remaining games.

Today, let’s be encouraged that “heart trumps skills” when following Jesus and serving Him in powerful ways. Imagine the impact we can have if our hearts are fully committed to Him. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m thankful You look at my heart instead of my skills. I trust You will use me for Your glory as You see fit. Please give me the strength I need to stay committed. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.