Hardened Hearts

Lately I’ve been dealing with a person who has a hard heart. No matter how many bad things happen to him, he won’t turn from the destructive path he’s on.

There are days when he has said, “I’m desperate; I need God,” but what he means is “I need God to do what I want Him to do—get me out of these messes.”  He’s blind to the fact that “these messes” are a direct result of his bad choices.

Not long ago I heard a speaker at the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg.  ARC is a six-month residential substance abuse program which houses up to 104 men at no cost to them.  These men receive group therapy, guidance and spiritual counseling in a “work therapy” type setting.

As I sat there with the men from this program, I celebrated that most seemed to listen intently to the guest speaker. I felt encouraged that so many by deciding to be in the ARC had turned from the path that leads to destruction and put themselves in a place where they could allow God to soften their hearts.

How I longed for the man I knew to be in that chapel—to be listening to truth, to be in a place where his heart could be softened. I had repeatedly tried to speak truth to him, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead he spouted words of prideful self-pity which translated to, “I don’t deserve this,” when he should have been saying, “God, have mercy on my soul.”

I’m learning that having a hard heart has to do with refusing to listen—to God, to His Word, to His wisdom.  Hebrews 3:7-8 comes to mind:

Today, if you hear his voice,do not harden your hearts…NIV 1984

A hard heart says, “I want my way.” And if the hard heart brings God into the picture it is to demand, “God, do what I say.”

A softened heart says, “God, what do You say? Show me Your way.”

The challenge I have is to avoid developing a hardened heart toward those who have hardened their hearts toward God. I need to keep saying to the Lord about this lost soul, “God, what do You say? Show me Your way.”

It’s imperative I continue to believe that God is able to soften hearts in His way and in His time.

I said to this wayward soul one day, “The night you made that very bad decision, God was speaking to you to make another choice. Sadly, you didn’t hear Him. I’m praying one day you will.” Then I presented to him a choice that could lead him away from his ungodly lifestyle. He chose to reject doing the right thing.

I’m praying one day he will make the right choice and turn around to receive Jesus as Savior and embrace the path of becoming all God created him to be.

How about you? Do you have family members and loved ones who have hardened their hearts against God? Will you join me in praying for them and asking God to keep our hearts softened toward them?

To hear more about “Hardened Hearts” listen to my radio show, “Hearts Set Free with Elaine” on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8:00am EST. Go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live.”

You can also go to the archives and listen to past shows. Go to www.wtis1110.com. Press “shows,” scroll down to “Hearts Set Free,” and click on it. Go to the bottom right of the page and click on the archived show you want to listen to.

About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
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6 Responses to Hardened Hearts

  1. Mary Ardis, Spanish Fort, Alabama says:

    Thank you for reminding me of when I was one of those hard hearted souls. The Lord broke that hard heart and I am listening to Him more and more to do His will, not my own. I too don’t want to have a hard heart toward the hard-hearted and I will join you in your prayers for your friend and all the hard hearted.
    God Bless you and your ministry.

    • Elaine says:

      Mary, thank you for your comment. I am celebrating God’s faithfulness when we call out to Him to soften our hearts.

  2. Dawn says:

    This is right where my life is right now. I live with the person you have described. There are days when my heart toward that person is as hard as their heart is to God. I’m asking God to continue to soften my heart for the heard hearted.

    • Elaine says:

      Dawn, the good news is that when we call out to God to soften our hearts, it brings us back to a place of peace and joy in Him, despite the ongoing actions and attitudes of the person with the hardened heart.

  3. anitaayers says:

    A hard heart is a closed heart, unwilling to give or receive what it needs to survive. I was once that person. I was drowning in self pity and did not even recognize it. I see many people in that same pit and I join you in praying for God to open their eyes.

  4. Sometimes we forget that the path to God grows brighter and brighter, while the path of rebellion grows so dark that even the light the person once had is darkend. But we have this promise that when we pray He hears us, and it is His good pleasure to give us the good things. Meaning He is willing and able to save our loved ones even when their hearts are so that we can hardly believe. “He eyes are roaming to and fro acrossed the land looking for where He can show Himself mighty.”

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