A pastor at church this weekend told a childhood story about learning to play guitar. At his first lesson, the teacher instructed him to hold down the strings with his finger.
"Ouch, this hurts," he said to his instructor.
"At first it will hurt," replied the instructed. "But eventually you will build up callouses on your fingers and you will no longer feel pain. Just give it time."
The pastor used this story as a spiritual analogy.
Our hearts are the fingers. Sin is the strings.
At first our heart's response to sin can be painful. Going against the will of God causes unrest and grief in our hearts. But eventually, over time, our hearts become calloused to these pains of sin. The heart becomes hardened like a stone. And the result is moral unresponsiveness.
A hardened heart acts like a virus infecting our spiritual heart to the point of severe illness, even death.
Ephesians 4:18-19 describes this well:
18 "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed."
Many of us could describe a time in our lives where we lost all sensitivity to sin, our hearts became calloused and unresponsive, so we gave ourselves over a sensual lust for sin and indulged.
And many of us probably know that when the heart becomes hardened in this way, our separation from the life of God darkens our understanding and we live in fear and unrest.
I long for my children to be protected from this.
Would you join me in prayer today?
Let's pray our kids maintain a tender heart to God and His will.
I pray my children's hearts would be soft and tender to You and Your will. I pray they would avoid habitual sins and choose righteousness so as to protect themselves from hardened hearts that become morally unresponsive to Your ways. May they never lose sensitivity to You, and thus indulge in all kinds of impurity and greed. Rather may they trust and obey You with responsive and humble hearts.