Fear, anger, grief, and any number of emotions can leave us with hardened hearts. Letting our hearts get hard seems to protect us from feeling vulnerable. Hardened hearts seldom feel pain. And so we do what we need to do to protect ourselves from pain.
The problem, though, is that a hardened heart that feels no pain may also feel no joy or hope or love, the positive human emotions that make us who we are. The remedy? Take a chance at life, at the full range of life’s emotions. Soften your heart. Let it feel and respond to the emotions life sends your way.
The Bible says this about a hardened heart:
“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.” – Ephesians 4:18 ESV
Soften your heart and enjoy this season of angels. Let the star of Bethlehem lead you to find the Christ child. Reach out your heart and hand to those who have need. Offer an extra bit of lovingkindness to those whose hearts are hardened by the circumstances in their lives.
In these days of the Holy season, we are also inundated with the hateful rhetoric and harmful behavior caused by politics. We are hearing of war and violence everyday. Though we may feel that the darkness has descended upon the world, may the light be stronger.
Thanks be to God for “the Dayspring from on high who has visited us, to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” – Luke 1:78-79