Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hardness of Heart

Jesus said that Moses allowed divorce because of the people’s hardness of heart. He went on to say that it wasn’t that way from the beginning. In other words, God didn’t like the idea of hard hearts getting their way. He wanted two sinners to learn to get along.

I know someone who went through a divorce recently. The Christian wife divorced her Christian husband not so much for what was going on in the present but for what had happened in the past and what might happen in the future. As I have pondered the situation from my small peephole I have wondered if maybe she had forgotten just how much she had been forgiven. Even if her husband is a bundle of sin, isn’t she also? Did a hard heart lead to dull vision so that a look in the mirror didn’t reveal her own darkness?

Yes I know there is a lot I probably don’t know about this situation. The details are not the point. As I pray for this family I pray that the wife would be brought face to face with her own sin. I pray that she would see that she has betrayed God in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Despite this, God continues to forgive her and desire fellowship with her. He never throws the past in her face when she comes for forgiveness. If she was willing to practice the same then maybe healing could come to this marriage and family. But maybe that’s the problem with hardness of heart. The one afflicted may be unable or may refuse to see their own stuff. So they sit on the lonely hill, looking down on all the others who are not perfect like they. What a dreary place that is.

The road to hardness of heart is very gradual. Step by step the decision is made not to forgive or to hold a grudge. Callous is formed and feeling is suppressed. Justification is made on why this behavior is acceptable. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Sadly, hardness of heart ends up hurting many more people than just the holder of the heart.

The Bible tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven. I know that’s not easy but it’s the truth and a command. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray that we will be forgiven just as we have forgiven others. That’s a scary thought! Maybe that’s the root of a hard heart.

Philip

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