Hard Heart or just not Gullible?

I was having lunch the other day and the topic of my recent illness (cancer) came up. A colleague who was there said they had no idea it was so serious, due to the way Christine and I had continued on as though nothing was seriously wrong. 

This got me thinking. (I know, I need to stop it!) Why is it that I seem to be so non-plussed about everything now days? Why is it that I don’t find myself getting excited about things as I once used too? Why is it I find myself “unamazed” even by things in the past that would have left me in awe? 

Why is it that I don’t seem to experience God in the same way emotionally as I once did? 

One thought that crossed my mind was that we’ve been through so much that it would take something pretty BIG to knock us nowdays. Or perhaps it might be because of a lifetime of… well…. I will be honest… of underachieving… I am no longer surprised by own shortcomings and therefore the shortcomings of other around me. 

Another thought crossed my mind and it was sparked by a comment by a Christian who shall remain nameless. This person brought out ‘the chest nut’ I need to speak in tongues to be spirit filled. Following their logic my lack of emotion of late is due to the fact I don’t have His Spirit in me. Hmmm. 

When they said that I did in fact experience an emotion, the emotion of anger! Seriously, where do people get off saying these things?Have they seen the changes He has made in me? Have they any idea of the road He has led us on thus far? Do they even care what the aims and goals in my life are (extend His Kingdom at all cost!). I bit my tongue and did not say a word in reply, because I’ve learnt it is just not worth the hassle. I don’t need to justify myself to them. 

But then another thought occurred to me, and to be honest I am not sure it is from God and because I am not sure I am tending to think it is not His voice at all. But nevertheless the concern is still there. ‘Dean you have a hard heart’. 

What do you do when you hear that? Do you tell yourself ‘heart get soft’? Do you examine your life and look for things which have caused that hardening? I’m sure if we all did that we’d find something in our life that we could point the finger at. And then all you can do is confess it and move on, right? But what happens if nothing actually changes? So I am not sure what to do. What I am sure of though is that it gets very disheartening if you repeat that same cycle. 

Somehow, I don’t think that is the sort of freedom/liberty/life that Jesus is talking about when He say ‘I have come to give you life’.Perhaps there is another option… and I warn you it isn’t pretty. If you’re squeamish look away now.Perhaps a large percentage of what is done in the name of God and in ministry… perhaps it’s nothing but a poor counterfeit of God’s work. I have been witness to so much baloney by the self-professed ‘spiritually sensitive people’. And let me be clear; I am not saying the fault is with everyone else because I have been just as guilty – there have been times I have spoken up the loudest, but in reality I have done so simply to try and convince myself my own shortcomings are not the problem. At times I have spoken up the loudest, ‘This is what God says’ because I myself ‘want to hear God and at the time I am not!’Perhaps the longer you go in ministry, the more you become witnesses to the counterfeit. And the more character-building experiences you go through yourself, the more you become aware of your own shortcomings and conscious of the actions (and inaction) of others.I’m coming to the conclusion that being reserved is not a sign of a hard heart, but more so, perhaps it’s a just a sign of being aware of the danger of being gullible.

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