Sunday, November 07, 2010

Connecting Life with Faith: Looking for hard spots

What does a hard heart look like?  We tend to imagine a very angry face, like the face of the Pharaoh of Egypt in a children`s book.  Or maybe the Pharisees being angry with Jesus before taking him to Pontius Pilate.

Yes, those are some classic examples of hard-heartedness, that are used every Sunday at the pulpit by thousands of pastors.  But let`s think a little deeper on the subject.

Christians are not immune to being hard-hearted.  As people we naturally tend to harden our hearts as a defense mechanism.  Pride is the poison that hardens the human heart.  Here is a statement from the book of Daniel referring to King Belshazzar to prove my point. "But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride." Daniel 5:20

When we begin to think too highly of ourselves or we lose humility before God. That is the time when pride sneaks in and begins to harden our hearts.  I have heard some pastors refer to them as blindspots...because you cannot see these areas where your heart has become hardened.  The conscience is seared and there is no feeling of guilt or remorse about the wrongness of your actions.  So what can we do?

Spending quiet time to look for the hard spots might save us a lot of trouble.

"Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble."
Proverbs 28:14

But here is the thing.  I know my heart is hard in areas.  In fact, I am even now asking God to soften my heart more and more, to restore the innocence of a soft and humble heart.  The heart of a child.

And let`s not forget what the usual circumstances are for hard-heartedness.  It is not the good times but the bitter times of trials that so easily expose and harden our hearts. 

Look at Hebrews 3:8!

"do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,"

We are all going to have to face testing of the heart and resist the hardening of our hearts in the walk of life.  God`s own children, he disciplines and loves. And through it all, He desires that we keep our hearts humble and soft towards Him so that we may reap a reward in the end.

Please Abba, Father.  Help us find the hard spots on our hearts, the places you know that need to become soft and humble again.  Help us remember your love and remove the poison of pride within us.  Keep us strong and faithful in all that we do. Through the grace of Christ Jesus. Amen.
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