There’s no doubt that the pains, problems and prickles of this world can cause us to be calloused if we allow them to overrule our Christian world view. However, as believers, we thankfully don’t have to fall victim to this depressed state of being. Rather, we posses the power through our relationship with Christ to overcome and avoid obstacles such as the following:
Hard-Living: A “hard” lifestyle can begin in a very subtle way – maybe it starts with a simple drink to relax, but in time, more drink is required. Then, perhaps even greater outlets are desired to let off steam. We begin neglecting exercise, indulging our appetites, watching too much late night television due to restlessness and before long, our activities catch up with us. For me, I became 50 pounds overweight, began to have asthmatic symptoms and was sent to the doctor due to chest pains caused by stress. Clearly, not a good state of being. How did I get this way? God hadn’t been my first priority in quite awhile. It was a time when I was too consumed living for myself and as a result, I was unknowingly killing myself. Thankfully, God used all this to get my attention, wise me up and get my priorities straight. Today, the excess weight is gone, the asthma is gone and there are no more chest pains! It’s true – God’s love is overwhelming, and He graciously welcomes all His prodigals back home with open arms (Luke 15:20).
Hard-Hearted: When we’re too busy thinking about ourselves, there’s little room to care for others, much less God. As a result, our heart begins to harden like clay in the scorching sun. Thankfully, there is hope. For Christ delivers the living water necessary to restore the hardest of hearts (Ezekiel 36:26)!
Hard-of-Hearing: When we’re preoccupied, it’s hard to hear God, which makes it even harder to obey His direction. Unfortunately, in such a fast paced world full of noise and distraction, it’s easy to become hard of hearing. Therefore, let us always be intentional in getting our alone time with God – and listening (Luke 5:16).
Application: “Called To Care” – Philippians 2:4 We are not islands designed to exist solely for ourselves. This reality however conflicts directly with our flesh’s natural inclination and with the world’s “have it your way” promotions. Rather, we are to serve and love one another with no other priority greater than God. However, only He has the power to change our hearts so that we can even begin to care for others to the degree He desires us to. Ironically, as this begins to happen, we soon realize we receive more than we give and could have ever sought.