One of my key takeaways from the past months is this.
Do not let anything or anyone harden your heart.
Has someone maligned you? Were you accused? Shamed? Did people talk about you behind your back? Were your faults magnified, talked about, laughed at? Were you misunderstood? Judged? Underestimated? Betrayed?
Do not let them harden your heart!
Does life seem unfair? Do you feel undervalued, unappreciated, unnoticed? Unloved? Do not let those things harden your heart!
Talk to God about it. Admit the pain to Him. If necessary, talk to the people involved, lovingly and privately. Never resort to backstabbing no matter how tempting it is, even if people used the same behavior against you. Confront your inner fears, understand where they’re coming from and kill them at their roots. Be accountable to people who will pray for you even if you cannot find the heart to even pray for yourself. Run to God and feel His embrace. His Words will be your fortress. No matter how deeply you’ve been hurt, His comfort is deeper still.
Do not rehearse your hurts. Do not replay them on your mind. Do not continue talking about them.. Instead talk to them one last time and say, “This is enough. You have no power over me anymore.”
It’s so hard to guard your heart from being hardened. It takes a lot of work and effort.
You want the easy way?
Vow not to talk to people who hurt you. Transfer that frustration to others. Guard your heart from meaningful relationships to avoid getting hurt. Wallow in this emotional pit. Let your anger embrace you. Hug it tight until no one can hug you anymore. Not even God. Fill your heart with pride so that it cannot contain what God wants it to hold.
A hardened heart cannot be hurt. You pat yourself. “Good job’ you say. But you realize this:
A hardened heart cannot be hurt. But neither it can love.
Sooner or later, the temporary band-aids will fall off. The hurts are still there. This time even deeper. They weren’t healed, just covered up. You’ll realize that no matter how hard it is to keep your heart soft, you will eventually know that it is far better than the hard one.
My burning question was: What if I let my guard down, I let my anger overpower me, I let my bitterness make fortified walls around my heart. Will God soften it?
I literally asked God that question. And he said No.
He will not soften my hard heart anymore.
Because he will give me a new one!
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
What a sweet comforting thought! We can start anew, with a clean slate.
Are you nursing a hard heart? Run to God. He will give you a new one. A heart of flesh and not of stone. A heart that beats for Him and others. A heart that can be crushed, but can love with a love that overcomes pain. A heart that can be broken, but because it is, God’s power can easily infiltrate all its rooms.
A heart that is vulnerable but a thousand times better than a walled one.
So no matter how hard it is, always remember: Do not let anything or anyone harden your heart. Above all else, guard it, for everything you do flows from it.