The Dangers of a Hard Heart
". . . the man was more than forty . . ." Acts 4:22
Age matters. We are obsessed with age. The fear of getting older dominates our culture, people work hard to stay young. Using every nip, tuck, and injection to keep ahead of the age curve. Virtually every public figure from politicians to playwrights have had "work" done to their face and body.
It’s difficult to read this verse without acknowledging that age matters. It's even more difficult to think of forty as being past the prime of life, since today, forty is the new thirty.
The principle of this verse is there is an age when the heart becomes hard. We start out like freshly poured cement. We can still be written on, but as years pass we become like concrete, harden by the heat of the day. Habits, attitudes, dispositions, and the course of life are finally fixed. The hope of transformation grows faint, we become settled. And nothing short of a miracle will get us out.
The miracle of Acts is intended to show us that change is possible, there is no one too old for the miracle of grace. Still, we are reminded not to harden our heart, to make sure there's nothing lying around that could trip us up, or throw us off course. See to it you avoid the dangers of a hard heart.
The loss of wonder
Curiosity and creativity can be cancelled out by indifference. Looking at the stars becomes no different than looking at wall paper. Turn your wonder to Jesus again.
The loss of a dream, or shattering of an ideal, has a way of flattening life. Go back to the wellspring of life and draw new life.
A closed mind
Our relationship with Christ is hindered because of past prejudice and tradition. Stay open to all that is good, true, pure, and honest.
In the face of anxiety of heart and home, compromise can seem rational. The antidote is in living the doctrines we say we believe.
The temptation to be absorbed by position, possessions, power, and popularity is easy, but to seek His Presence is far greater.
The message is simple, in the Presence of His grace, no one is too old or too far gone. The life of Jesus causes cold, hard, dead hearts to live again.
Has your heart become hardened?