Living in the Will of God – 08 Hardness of Heart
In part 07 of this series, we saw in Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees about divorce (Matthew 19:8), “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.”
Hardness of heart is a Biblical term that expresses the fact that people’s heart, mind, and soul have become so insensitive that they will no longer accept the unction of the Holy Spirit to mold them back into the image of God, so that they can become the peacemaking children of God that He wants us all to be.
In order for people to deliberately emotionally or physically harm or kill any other living being, they must first suppress their empathy so they no longer care about the feelings and desires of any other human beings or animals; this is all part of hardness of heart, just as with the men Jesus was talking about who could divorce their wives for any reason.
In psychology, a lack of empathy (hardness of heart) is one of the indicators of a sociopathic personality.
Hardness of heart also applies to human beings’ lack of obedience to God, which was the major reason that Israel and Judah were led into captivity; but note what Ezekiel wrote about what God was going to do when He brings the people out of Babylon (Ezekiel 36:26).
26. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
This is removing their hardness of heart, just as the Lord wants to do with most of the people in the world today, if the people would let Him do it.
Not wanting to know the truth, or even worse, denying the truth, is also a strong indication of a person’s hardness of heart.
Kim is a Catholic woman who has been having problems with the church, because of her deep concern for animals and because she doesn’t eat them; she wrote to us about her conversation with a priest:
“I recall once I asked him if he could accept animals as living beings. He said NO.
How can we deny the facts that animals are living beings? Do you know?
One time I asked him if he really thinks there’s humane slaughter; he said YES.
I asked if he knows how an animal’s entire life is from the farm to his plate. He said NO.
I told him to go find out the truth before he says that there’s humane slaughter. He said that he doesn’t need to do that.”
To us, this is a sure sign of the priest’s hardness of heart, for he cares neither for Kim, nor the animals she cares about.
His hardness of heart is totally outside living in the will of God, and these situations need to change in all churches.