Hebrews 3: Hardening Your Heart?

Hebrews 3 warns against hardening our hearts. So when was the last time you did that, hardened your heart? Seriously, take a minute to think about it. I would guess it’s probably been within the last couple days, maybe even couple hours, because we have an amazing reluctance to admit when we are wrong. My husband can readily testify that this is a struggle for me. Oh, can he! But this reluctance is really just pride and it plagues us all. We do not want to acknowledge that something we said or did was inconsiderate or uncharitable. We think in terms of how we were justified in saying what we said, or doing what we did. The issue may be ridiculously trifling, yet most of the time we rationalize away our culpability. We may not use the biblical language, but rationalizing and justifying are just means of hardening our hearts. Simply put, pride is the lacquer that hardens.

Yet Hebrews 3:12-13 says: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
A sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from God is one that is full of pride. And as C.S. Lewis wrote in “The Great Sin” chapter in Mere Christianity, “As long as you are proud you cannot know God.” (This whole chapter is brilliant and every word is applicable to these verses from Hebrews!)
So what’s the solution to this, unbelieving, prideful, “anti-God state of mind”? It’s acknowledging our own sin. We need to pray for discernment to see where we are out of God’s will, and we need to read and meditate on God’s Word.
Lewis closes his chapter with the following:

If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.

So, friend, “it is called Today,” may we encourage one another and not be deceived by the hardening work of sin. May we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, choose to believe, to trust and to obey.

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