Is it only me or are there others that think the older we get, the harder the heart becomes? Recently, I heard a sermon, and the pastor mentioned that we should accept Christ when we first hear the good news (when we are young) because the more time that passes, the harder it becomes. Not because the message changes or God expects more but because life has a way of hardening the heart. I know I am far less patient than I used to be, even as a Christian, I struggle with accepting people whose actions and beliefs are contrary to the norm. I’m not a total jerk, but I find I am becoming more and more stereotypical than my younger years – us against them mentality!
I may struggle with “loving” others, but God doesn’t, God loves everyone. I am no better than the next guy so why am I holding them to the same, or higher, standards than I do for myself. I am far from Mr. Perfect, and I struggle daily with sin so why am I so critical of others?
We think with our heart, plan with our heart, choose with our heart and feel with our heart. And the heart is a breeding ground for sin. Matthew 15:19 – For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
I’ve noticed that my heart is at its worst when I make everything about me. In reality, I should be making it about Jesus and contemplating His beauty and great sacrifice for not only me but every single person who has ever been conceived. It is hard to be critical when thinking about the most self-less act known to humankind.
We must cultivate our heart and take responsibility for its condition. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent and even reverse a hardened heart. With many things it should start with a simple prayer, in this case, Psalm 51:10 – create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Here are some of the fastest ways to a hard heart; avoid them, undo them or change the way you think about them if you want to have a pure heart.
- Not trusting and obeying the Word of God.
- Inability to recognize the blessing of God.
- Lack of thanksgiving.
- Arguing with one another.
There was a period after my divorce I had a pretty ugly and hard heart towards the world and my ex-wife. It wasn’t until I started telling myself that God loved her too before I was able to accept the situation and move on. I had to have faith that God was in control and no matter how miserable, hopeless and angry I was things were going to work out.
It seems I am on a never-ending roller coaster ride and I am trying to either catch up to or go back to a place I once was. I know this is true for many reading this and if we want to have a soft heart you need to make it available to God, we are the clay, He is the potter. We need to demonstrate the genuineness of our faith and hold fast.
Ezekiel 36:26 – And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.