Is it March Already?

I looked at the blog, and the date of the last post surprised me — not only has it been more than a week since I have posted, it’s now in the next month!  Am I sounding too old when I ask, “where has the time gone?”

This may seem as a real “duh” moment to many, but, having God break off the hard places of my heart, to reveal a soft heart toward Him. . .

leaves a soft heart which is vulnerable to being wounded.  Ouch.  I like the thought of having a tender heart toward God, a heart that is quick to respond to His leading, quick to repent of sin and joyful to be in relationship with the God of the universe Who saved me and Who loves me so.

However. . .

So, here’s the challenge; what do I do with the woundedness?  How does a “tender heart toward God” handle the hurts of relationships that are less than perfect because we live in a broken, sinful world?

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. . . As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . .” (Hebrews 3:12-15 ESV)

First of all, don’t blame God for the failings of man, even fellow God-followers. 

Don’t use difficulties in relationships as an excuse to run away from God.  How many times people have been used as an excuse for an “evil, unbelieving heart.”  “Yeah, I used to go to church, but people were such hypocrites that I figured it was all a waste of time.”  “I can’t forgive him/her until they admit they were wrong.”  “If you knew how he/she/they treated me, then you would understand why I act this way.”  I’m sure you can think of a myriad of examples of your own. 

Staying in godly relationships is God’s way of keeping our hearts tender toward Him.  I’m not discounting time alone with God, which is necessary, but we were created to be in community, in relationship, and other people can see through our blind spots. 

Keeping a soft heart toward God is not maintained by a one-time event or decision.  “Today” is used purposely.

Here are some questions I’m asking while I chew on this passage. . .

Will I allow God to keep my heart soft and tender toward Him, even though a soft heart can hurt and be wounded?  Will I maintain a believing heart by trusting Him to care for my heart in every situation?

Am I willing to extend grace to those who, in the name of exhortation, are critical and mean?  Will I accept healthy criticism as a means of God to keep my heart from becoming “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin?”

Do I daily run to God for wisdom to sort out the truth from the falsehoods, the “safe” people from the “unsafe,” and decide to willingly love and stay in community because every person represents a soul that Christ willingly died to save?

“For this is how God loved the world;  he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)

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