I was thinking today… Do we sometimes have a hardened heart? How do we fix that? I will admit that I have not always felt generous or compassionate at times like I should as a Jesus follower. It is so easy to become self-involved with our own personal challenges and issues. I also think that it can be a form of protection when we get overwhelmed with all of the tragedy, hurt, anger and sadness in the world, that we just can’t let it all in or else we wouldn’t be able to function.
I found myself thinking one day that I need to lock my car doors at night because people have been stealing things from cars (I don’t even have anything worth stealing!). The awful thing is, my mind went from thinking that to thinking of some homeless people that live down the road, and that I need to lock my car doors because I don’t want a homeless person seeking shelter in my car. I was shocked at how fast that selfish thought came to mind. Wow! How shameful and dishonoring to God for me to think that! The very LEAST I could do might be to allow someone to seek shelter from the cold in my car! I asked for God’s forgiveness and to help soften my heart and change my way of thinking.
Maybe that’s what we need to do. First of all take notice of our hearts, our thoughts and our reactions to situations and people. Then ask God to help us soften our hearts, and change our thoughts and actions if they are not God honoring. It’s a slippery slope between caution and compassion, so we have to be aware of the potential to harden our hearts – so that we can allow God to lead us, prompt us, and help us.
(Jeremiah 16:12) “But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me.”
(Matthew 13:15) “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”
(Psalm 119:11) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
(Psalm 51:10) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
To God be the Glory,
Lynn Manucci Warrick