Hebrews 3:8 The Ingredients
... don't harden your hearts...
Having a “hard heart” is a common phrase in scripture, and Christians use this phrase a lot too. But does anyone know the definition of a hard heart or the ingredients for getting one? Many Believers assume a hard heart is just someone who is stubborn or angry or defiant. These are true and accurate adjectives of a hard heart. But how did that heart get that way?
1 John 1:9-10 has the answer. Here is the definition of a hard heart: But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
A person with no place in their heart for God’s Word has a hard heart, and God’s Word is that we are sinners, and the Good News of God’s Word is that Jesus came to forgive sinners!
A hard heart belongs to the person who doesn't confess sin (this is rooted in pride) and/or claims they don't sin at all (also rooted in pride). We understand this from our own relationships. There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with a person who has clearly wronged you and claims they haven't. Or how a false apology (I'm sorry YOU were offended) is really not apology at all. These are actions by a person with a hard heart. A person who never admits fault has a hard heart.
Jesus says it like this: “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
So, if I want to NOT have a hard heart, then swallow my pride, confess my sin and seek forgiveness often, quickly and without stipulation. Jesus paid the price for every offense for all of time to free me from my self-entitled obligation to “collect.” This is actually very freeing and the ingredients I’m looking for – ingredients for a soft heart.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for giving me a new, clean, soft heart that is good. Help me confess my sin so pride will not settle into my heart. Thank you that I can freely forgive others because you have freely forgiven me. Thank you that I do not have the burden of collecting debts from people who’ve wronged me, for you paid that tab in full! Help my heart to be full of you today. I love you and thank you and pray in your name, amen.