It is blazing, record-breaking hot where I live near the Smoky Mountains. The frigid winter recently passed is nearly forgotten in the hazy, humid, long days we're now living. The cycles of nature, from one season into another are one of the ways I remind myself that life moves on, change is part of it and nothing that I dread today will last forever.
With the heart, change is often met with resistance. You refuse to allow to grow, change or become something else. You naturally become sensitive, insecure or guarded after being insulted and hurt. But, it is dangerous to allow a temporary state to become a permanent character trait. For example, you may justifiably angry about something, but you do not want to become an angry person. You may have feel discouraged after disappointment, but you do not want to become a negative person. You feel guarded and hesitant after being hurt in relationship, but you do not want to become a cold, unfeeling person. Keep reading to find out what gives me chills...
It has been said that the only thing more deadly than a broken heart is a frozen one. That thought sends chills up my spine because I don't want to be frozen, and I have headed down that road in the past. I don't want to be defined by my worst or by my past. I do not wanted to become jaded or hardened by hard times.
Closing off one's heart and becoming numb has consequences that will last longer than legal or financial difficulties. The impact on yourself and your children will characterize you for generations. The self-imposed separation from God has eternal ramifications. A hardened heart is not safe nor protected. It is entombed where it rots, withers and loses function. Self protection does not lead to healing, but to isolation.
A soft heart is not a weak heart. It is wise, quick and experienced enough to embrace possibility, to receive and give blessing. A soft heart accepts from the Lord what He gives and engages with others to live in community. A soft heart is smart and schooled enough to know that life is lived fully when all parts are functioning to their maximum.
I can work on this and ask the Lord to give me a tender, but savvy spirit. Because of the natural consequences of our sin, and others', it's easy to become wary or hardened. How can we retrain our self defense into healthy self care? How do you foster a soft heart?