A Heart Of Flesh

Apr 17, 2023

‘I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’Ezekiel 36:26 NIV

When you have been hurt, it’s easy to put up barriers. But be careful—a protective shell can turn into a ‘heart of stone’: resistant, unreceptive, impenetrable even to God.

Kristin Armstrong writes: ‘The only thing more painful, and with…more serious ramifications than a broken heart, is a frozen one... Paul warns us [about]…allowing our hearts to harden. “They are darkened in their understanding… separated from the life of God… due to… hardening of their hearts.” (Ephesians 4:18 NIV) A soft heart is not weak or naive. To the contrary, wisdom, experience, and faith make for a strong heart, weathered by compassion and seasoned with mercy. A hardened heart is not protected, it’s merely encased in injury, and it is painfully obvious to everyone but you…After a weekend that felt like one painful test after another, I called my best friend in tears. “Why won’t this end? How strong does God want me to be? I can’t take it anymore!” Being a godly woman…she replied, “Perhaps it’s the other way around. You have been strong enough. God wants your heart to be soft and open.” I hadn’t thought of it that way. In response to heartbreak, betrayal, or shame, it is…easy to develop a heart of stone. We think this will protect us from…more pain. The problem with stone is…it feels nothing—no pain, but no love. It is a trap that feels like self–preservation, but it is actually self–destruction. God wants to give you a heart of flesh. With His love you can emerge from a painful season of loss with a heart that is yielding, porous, and ready to receive the gifts He has…for you.’

SoulFood: 1 Cor 1–3, Matt 1:7–17, Ps 56, Pro 10:8–9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2023

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