Hardness of Heart
I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, Thursday, September 29th is World Heart Day. The American Heart Association has featured an article to highlight this occasion, entitled Advance Heart Failure. It states that “heart failure is considered advanced when conventional heart therapies and symptom management strategies no longer work.”In an unprincipled secular culture, some rightly might say that hardness of the heart, in its extremeness, is a condition of insensitiveness, rigidness, coldness, callousness and unyieldingness of the mind. Such a person has his ideas, outlooks and feelings firmly set and nothing and no one can change them. This hardness may be directed toward other people, elements of society, a government and even religion. From a biblical perspective, hardness of heart is an unhealthy condition characterized by the same traits of insensitiveness, etc. noted above in addition to one’s loss of spiritual perception. A hardened heart dulls a person’s senses, not the physical senses of sight, hearing, touching, feeling and smelling but those inner senses having the same name as the five natural senses. For example, Jesus once said to His disciples who did not understand the similes and metaphors of the physical and non-physical realms in His teaching, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? (Mark 8:17-18, also see Jeremiah 5:21) Simply, the disciples were identified as hard-hearted because of deficient or deprived inner senses needed to comprehend Jesus’ instructions. Like the blocking action of blood in the disease of atherosclerosis and advanced heart failure, a dysfunctional hard heart strangles the convictions of moral conscience―the faculty of our inner man by which we discern what is good and evil and make value judgments. Acting against one’s conscience blunts the psychological and spiritual wisdom for which it was intended. Repeated thwarting of one’s conscience might pave the way for making unwise choices and habitual wrong-doing with less guilt, which like advanced atherosclerosis and advanced heart failure, may be lethal to the mind, body and spirit.
(More on the hardness of heart in upcoming posts.)