by Rachel Harkins
“It is a good thing to have a heart within us smiting us for sins that seem little; it is a sign that conscience is awake and tender, and will be the means of preventing greater sins.” ~ Matthew Henry
My hands have callouses. Awhile back, I tried softening them up by following some home remedies I discovered while researching. One site advised to soak hands in warm water for 5 minutes then apply Vaseline. Although the rough areas are not completely gone, I can definitely tell a difference!
There is something so sweet about the softness of a newborn baby’s skin. Of course, that softness is accompanied by an extra sensitivity. Because of this, much care is taken with gentle baby cleansers, detergents, etc. while harsher soaps and shampoos are reserved for older family members. When thinking of the sensitivity of a newborn, the same could be said of a babe in Christ. Can you remember when you first became a child of God? Can you remember, as the Holy Ghost took His abode within, the new awareness and sensitivity of sin? As a mother, I have been able to witness that with our children when they were first saved. There was such awareness in their tender hearts of the “smallest” wrongdoing that I have spent much time listening to their tearful confessions before guiding them with Scripture and praying together.
Now, my hands will never be as soft and sensitive as a baby’s hands. Harsh cleaners, weather, etc. have taken their toll on them. I was demonstrating this awhile back with my girls as I pressed the sharp point of a straight pin into a calloused area…no feeling whatsoever. Applying this spiritually, as we allow sin to go unconfessed, our hearts become calloused to the Holy Ghost’s gentle nudging. The still small voice that we once heard as a new believer…a babe in Christ…is now undetected. Yes, the harshness of sin can take its toll on our hearts if we are not careful. Things that used to prick our tender hearts now seem to go unnoticed as a straight pin pricking a calloused hand. But, if the Holy Ghost truly convicted us about it then, is it not still wrong today?
Is it possible to get back and maintain that sensitivity to sin that we experienced when first saved? A thorough cleansing through confession of sin is the first step. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 If we have allowed unconfessed sin to create a thick callous over time, there may be the need to spend much time alone with God as we pray the words of David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23,24 As the Lord brings things to our memory, we must sincerely confess and forsake them. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Always remember – our Heavenly Father DESIRES sweet communion with His children. If we begin praying as the Psalmist did, He will begin to reveal things in our life that have caused broken fellowship and therefore insensitivity to Him.
Then, a daily “soaking” in the water of the Word! I have often heard the saying, “keep short accounts with God”. This word of advice is referring to the importance of immediately confessing sin instead of ignoring the Holy Ghost and thus becoming calloused in our hearts. Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” We read in Ephesians 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”and in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” The longer sin is ignored, the thicker the callous will become, but reading and then heeding the Word of God daily will help keep the callouses away while experiencing the joy of a tender heart that is able to hear the still, small voice of God.
“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” Acts 24:16
by Rachel Harkins
Original article can be found at http://www.inthineheart.com/2015/04/16/calloused-hearts-treatment-prevention/