What makes a person hard hearted? There is not one answer that covers the possible situations that lead to a hard heart. For some people it is that you have been mistreated or treated unfairly. If you cannot forgive, your heart becomes hardened. If you try to protect yourself by distancing from people, your heart will remain hard and calloused. If you allow your personality to be bitter and exacting, you will be judged by how you judge. In the reading from Hebrews, which is thought to have been written to instruct priests, a caution is issued. “Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God.” As you harden your heart the more you turn away from God.
Hebrews also gives us a remedy. “Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.” I really like that phrase, encourage each other today. Can you set aside your feelings and pains to focus on others? The more we can encourage others the softer our hearts become. We discover kindness and compassion. And as we focus on others and their needs what affects us does not seem to be as big as we once thought it was.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen