Do You Have A Hard Heart?


This question, dear reader, may shock or surprise you, but it is the ultimate question concerning human nature!

By that I mean that we all tend to compare ourselves with other people, and to judge others as they compare to us.  And we also tend to judge ourselves by our comparison with other people.

As a result we put ourselves and others in 'pigeon holes' or compartments in our minds and hearts, and those compartments tend to cut off the love, affection, respect and kindness which we should all have toward one another.

For example, Adolph Hitler apparently considered himself to be far superior to everyone else, and thus able to rule the world.  He also considered the Jewish people and many millions of other people groups as far inferior to himself and the so-called Aryan Race, resulting in the attempted extermination of millions of people during World War II.  Likewise, the Japanese rulers and the Italian rulers held similar attitudes towards others, and as they hardened their hearts towards 'the inferior people of the world', they committed dastardly deeds.  But even though their hearts were hardened toward many others, toward those people whom they considered to be like-minded or relatively equal they were relatively kind and considerate and even 'loving' - or at least affectionate!  Adolph Hitler had a girlfriend and a dog!

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

In my opinion, dear reader, for what it's worth, the cause of hardness of heart begins with a subtle lie.  The truth is, as set forth in the American document called the "Declaration of Independence", is that "all men are created equal".  The lie is always this:  "You are more or less equal than others."  Usually the lie is that you are better than others.  Sometimes the lie is that you are worse then others, and will never measure up to them.  The result is that we either consider ourselves to be better than others, or we consider ourselves to be worse than others.

I also believe that we are all created by a loving heavenly Father to be His beloved children, knowing Him and loving Him, and allowing Him to live and rule in our lives.  But part of His love for us is the freedom which He gives us to go astray from Him after our own ways, and to reap the consequences of our waywardness in the hope that we will eventually come to our senses, decide that it is better for us to be with Father than to be away from Him and the captain of our own fate!  If we do have this monumental change of heart we find that He gladly welcomes us back into His fold, and we are restored to knowing Him and living in His household under His rule of conduct.

You may wonder what the rule of conduct is in God's house.  It, simply is this:  The Royal Law of Love!  We are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  And God, incredibly, supplies all the love that we need to satisfy His one rule of conduct!!  It is a GREAT DEAL!

On the other hand, when we go astray from God, we lose contact with the one source of love, and we tend to try to make up for our monumental loss with our own cheap imitation of love.  It is called lust or jealousy or pride or selfishness.

I was once asked why alcoholics drink and drive and endanger themselves and everyone else when they drive drunk.  My answer, which I had never thought about before, was that maybe 10% of alcoholics drink out of pride, but the other 90% drink to medicate a damaged heart.  The guy who asked me the question replied that my explanation made sense, but then he asked why people don't just drink at home and save everyone the danger of their driving home from a bar or other drinking establishment.  Again my answer, which I had never thought about before was this:  One of the deepest pains that people suffer is the pain of loneliness!  So they get together with the other lonely people, medicate their hurting hearts, and endanger everyone when they drive home again.  My friend said that my explanation made sense, and he left.  I then realized that about a dozen college students had gathered around us to listen to our conversation!  Maybe they needed to hear what we said.  hmmm

WHAT IS THE REMEDY?

With these things in mind, what then is the remedy for our hardness of heart?  Fortunately, I have GOOD NEWS!  God foresaw our hopeless condition of heart-woundedness, and loved us to much that He sent His only begotten Son to establish the New Arrangement He wants to make with mankind.  The following is His expression of this New Arrangement which His Spirit inspired a prophet of old to write about 571 B.C.:

Ezekiel 36:23-30  And I will consecrate my great name, which was profaned among the nations and which you have profaned in the midst of them, and the nations will know that I am Yahweh!"' a declaration of the Lord Yahweh, when I show myself holy before their eyes.  "'And I will take you from the nations, and I will gather you from all of the lands, and I will bring you to your land. And I will sprinkle on you pure water, and you will be clean from all of your uncleanness, and I will cleanse you from all of your idols. And I will give a new heart to you, and a new spirit I will give into your inner parts, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and I will give to you a heart of flesh. And I will give my spirit into your inner parts, and I will make it so that you will go in my rules, and my regulations you will remember, and you will do them. And you will dwell in the land that I gave to your ancestors, and you will be to me as a people, and I will be to you as God. And I will save you from all of your uncleanness, and I will call to the grain, and I will cause it to increase, and I will not bring famine upon you. And I will cause the fruit of the tree and the crop of the field to increase, so that you will not suffer again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

The story behind this passage is that God had given His Law to the people of Israel centuries beforehand, but they had not kept His law because they lacked the Love of God to fulfill His Royal Law of Love.  They considered themselves to be better than the rest, and they looked down on 'the nations' instead of passing on God's mercy and grace as they should have.  They suffered the consequences, and the other nations of creation did not see the Royal Law of Love in action, which would have brought them also in change of heart back to God and His ways.

How, then, does one get a new heart?  By bowing your knees in unconditional surrender to God, by asking God's Son, Jesus Christ, to come into your  heart to save you from your sins and to be your source of the New Life which God wants all people to enjoy.  Is that GOOD NEWS, or what?  For a fresh example of how that works, I refer you to my recent experience at This page called John's Passing.

A buddy of mine has a favorite saying:  "We don't know what we don't know."  We think that we are doing well, and we don't realize that we could be doing much better!!!  The remedy for this enigma, which I have found to be very effective when done sincerely, is to ask God what we are missing.  I have been amazed and surprised and humbled by the answers to this prayer which I have received over the years.  The first answer I received to that question was, "humility"!

Another question which I have learned to be of great value is this:  "Lord, are You trying to tell me something about me?"  This question arises from what Jesus taught about not judging:

Mat 7:1-5  "Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For by what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and by what measure you measure out, it will be measured out to you.
And why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, 'Allow me to remove the speck from your eye,' and behold, the beam of wood is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the beam of wood from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye!

It seems to me that we all have 'beams' in our eyes which prevent us from seeing clearly and being helpful to others.  But when we get the 'beams' out of our own eyes we really do see clearly to be humbly helpful to others.

I hope that you, dear reader, will ask God this vastly important questions honestly:  "God, what am I missing?" and "Are You trying to tell me something about me?"  Please let me know what happens!

Cordially yours,

Rob