The past couple of weeks have been crazy. I went back to Minnesota, where I was born and raised, for Christmas. Everyday, I had some sort of obligation, at least that’s what it felt like. From family parties to friend gatherings, it was non-stop action. When I am away from home or on the go, I find that I become insensitive to my need for God. I worry about the next thing on the calendar instead of how much time I spend in the Word. This is a problem for me, and you may have a similar problem. Our human nature makes it easy to become callous. Ephesians 4:17-19 says this:
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Paul depicts a vivid picture of the sinner. Though he uses the word, Gentile, he is describing every human here. For the Christian, we were once described here. For the unbeliever, this is a perfect description of them. They are lead by darkness. They are alienated and ignorant of God because their hearts are hard. Then Paul says this, “They have become callous”. This callousness can lead to all kinds of sin because it eliminates one’s sensitivity to the depth of their sin. After Paul describes the sinner, he moves to what the Christian should look like. Verses 20-24 says:
20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
As Christians, we are called to walk in holiness. We are not to solely trust in ourselves for truth, because our minds are not always trustworthy. The unsaved person is guided by darkness but we are to be guided by light. The sinner is separated from God, but we are called to have an intimate relationship with him. The hardness of heart for the sinner leads to ignorance, while the humble heart of a true believer leads to wisdom. We are called to throw away the old self and put on the new self that strives to be righteous.
While this is amazing, it is not easy. Just because you are saved doesn’t mean that we are not going to struggle with sin. Struggling with sin is a life-long battle, but we can take refuge in two things. #1 Jesus paid the price for every sin the believer has committed, is committing, and will commit. #2 Struggling with your sin means that you are not content in indulging that sin. Declaring war against sin means that you are not callous.
At the end of the day. It all comes back to Jesus and his work on the cross. I thank God for saving me and I pray that he removes the callouses that may be surrounding your heart, so you can respond to the grace and mercy that he provides.
Thanks for reading.