Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hardened generation

   In a world so overrun by anger, hatred, criticism, and violence; and so much of it being done in the name of reason, love, and tolerance. It leads one to ask "what is up with the world?" Well Jesus had this to say about such misguided attitudes.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
-Matthew 13:14-15 niv

   The key phrase here being "Calloused heart." Apparently, a literal translation from the original Greek would actually be "Fat heart." However, culturally speaking a literal translation does not have the same impact in English. So many translators give it a functionally equivalent word instead. Other translations have used words like heavy, dull, stubborn, gross, and hardened. To give you a better idea of what Jesus was trying to tell us about the heart of humanity.
   Yet, what is even more striking, is the implication that this sickness of the heart will indeed put a blockade between us and God. That if we hold onto a heaviness within an area of our hearts. It will prevent us from receiving spiritual healing. That those who have hardened hearts will be completely blind and deaf to the truth. 
   Which reveals a lot about how we should and should not deal with this affliction of the heart, weather it is with others or even ourselves. What value are things like impatience, unkindness, rudeness, anger, criticism, and mere definitions with the hard of heart after all. Yet that is often just what we do in the face of the spiritually blind, and emotionally deaf. If anything, such callous treatment will likely make the sickness worse.
   I dare say only love has any hope of softening the hard callouses on the hearts of the lost. Which makes Jesus' emphasis of the subject rather relevant and appropriate. Which can be a very long and slow process, but necessary if we want any real and lasting results. Granted we have decades of poor methodology in love, correction, and teaching to contend with. But we must restart somewhere.

The Visual PARABLEist

A person breaking a baseball bat over another heart, but they don't seem to notice.
click to enlarge 
While the hard-hearted might seem impervious, keep this in mind. The harder things are, the more brittle they become.