- Genesis 37:25
Joseph's brothers kidnap him, beat him, and throw him into a pit so that he might die.
After they do this, they go to lunch. It's time to eat.
These guys are cold-blooded and heartless.
How does one become so callous to evil, so insensitive to sin, that they can commit murder and not flinch? They literally kill someone and then go to lunch?
This does not happen overnight.
Just like the calloused fingers of a guitar-picker and the calloused hands of a farmer… it builds over time. As those who follow King Jesus, we have to guard our hearts against the evil of callousness.
We need to ensure that we are not becoming insensitive to sin.
- We should not easily gossip against our co-workers and then sit down for lunch.
- We should not freely speak harshly to our wives and then gather at the table for dinner.
- We should not effortlessly watch illicit images on a screen and then break for a snack.
Our consciences are far too easily seared; our hearts can be pricked by sin so much that we no longer feel the prick. How do we guard against this hardening of our hearts?
We start by looking for the early warning signs. Hate and envy were building in the hearts of Joseph's brothers long before they sought to kill him.
We've got to see the signs.
Here are some early warning signs of a hard heart:
- You stop genuinely caring. You don't care what God thinks. You don't care what others think. You become your own man, free to live by your rules.
- So much of what's supposed to be meaningful feels mechanical. Personal friendships, your family, your work, day in and day out, everything feels automated.
- Passion is hard to come by. You no longer "feel," you just "exist."
- You no longer believe the best about people. When you meet someone, you are quick to judge, always wondering, "what is their angle?
- Compromise becomes easier and easier.
Pay attention. The sin that overpowers us can easily be avoided if we pay attention to the signs. Remember, "Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity" (Proverbs 28:14).
Paper Sunday is blessed to collaborate with Chris Harper on today's devotional!
Chris Harper is a speaker, writer, and disciple-maker. Chris is President of 252Edu, a consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. Chris serves schools, churches, and non-profits by helping them "grow in wisdom, favor and stature with God and man.”
When not taking ground for King Jesus, you can find Chris on the basketball court playing a pick-up game. Chris is a sneakerhead, an avid reader, and loves a good cheeseburger. You can follow him @252consulting on Instagram.