What sort of heart do you want to have? I picture mine being soft and squishy like a marshmallow. But I know at times life can cause our hearts to harden due to our experiences, past hurts, disappointments, unforgiveness and offense.
God understands that. He says “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls“…(Matthew 11:28)
Jesus did not condemn Matthew as a tax collector, who was despised by his own people, but chose him as a disciple and simply said “Follow me” (Matthew 9:9-13).
He didn’t despise the adulterous woman that everyone else was ready to stone to death. He loved her and saved her life (John 8:1-11).
He chose Zaccheus, a thief and one of the most unpopular people in town, to go and have dinner with him, forgiving and changing his course of life in the process.(Luke 19:1-10)
Jesus doesn’t reject us when we are feeling bruised and battered, or when life seems too hard or empty. Even when our hearts are cluttered and burdened, He simply says “come to me”.
Jesus is the cure for hard hearts. His love never fails. To experience and accept His love, and subsequently the love of others we directs into our lives softens our hearts.
God’s love received will change your life, and any life that you pass it on to.
Here are a few things I have learnt which help to keep our hearts soft:
Deal with anything you know is not right before God. Sin causes hearts to grow hard, especially continual and unrepentant sin. Now we know that “if we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9) However, if we choose to keep on doing things our way regardless ant don’t confess our sins, there is a cumulative and desensitizing effect on our conscience, making it difficult to even distinguish right from wrong. This sinful and hardened heart eventually causes us to have a “seared conscience”. God’s word makes it clear that if we relentlessly continue to engage in sin, (those things not right before God and His Word) there will come a time when God will give us over to our “debased mind” and let us have it our way. (1 Timothy 4:1-2
Keep short accounts – Walk in forgiveness. It is powerful to forgive others and to receive forgiveness. We let go and let God in, and as we do we let His love wash all the “rocks” and hardness out, and making room for His love.”Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor… do not let the sun go down on your anger“ (Ephesians 4:26)
Find out who you are in Jesus. If we can get a God view of who we and how much we are loved, it will change how we see ourselves, those around us, and bring such perspective to what is really important. You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Worship – God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3) Take time to be thankful and invite God into every area of your life. “He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist. (Acts 17:28)
God’s best for us is a soft uncluttered heart. Of all the things in our life that we spend our time seeking after and working towards perhaps the most important is to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. For the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart”.
Prayer: Lord create in me a soft heart free from offense and sin. I make room to let your love in. In Jesus Name Amen