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Eternal Perspectives: God Doesn't Want Us to Have a Heart of Stone

Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair

It doesn’t seem to take much for our hearts to turn to stone. A harsh word or deed, a selfish act or stubborn thought, an emotional outburst. And when our stony hearts begin to feel like mountains, repentance may become difficult. But it’s commanded by God if we want a close relationship with Him.

A heart of stone or flesh?

As a kid, I enjoyed moving stones to see what lay underneath. I’d find centipedes, beetles, worms, and an occasional garter snake hiding in the musty soil. I still like to uncover rocks and stones, enjoying nature from the perspective of its underside.

Many adults, however, find the underside of a rock smelly and gross, something to avoid touching. Some view the dead in the same way. In fact, during biblical times, touching a dead body was considered a sin. Wrapped in a shroud, perfumed, and laid in a tomb sealed with a heavy stone, the dead remained untouchable. Though the dead today are prepared with embalming fluid and sealed in a casket, they are still viewed by many as “smelly and gross.”

When Jesus raised His friend Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus had already lain in the grave four days. Imagine the smell of decay! At Jesus’ command, the stone was removed, exposing Lazarus’s body. People protested. But Jesus insisted and when the stone was moved, revealing Lazarus’s dead body, Jesus transformed him into life.

We can compare physical burial to matters of the heart. Unwilling to expose our sins of stubborn unforgiveness, rebellion, or secret offenses, we cover their odor with deceptive smiles and good deeds—deeds performed with the wrong motives. Jesus wants to roll the heavy stones away from our hearts. All we have to do is ask.

The prophet Ezekiel prophesied that God’s people, following true repentance, would be restored to their land and their hearts renewed. Such a new heart and spirit would help them follow and obey Him. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

Such newness of heart and soul will happen to us today if we ask God’s Son, Jesus, for the forgiveness of our sins and follow His will. Such heart-softening is possible through His Word and His Holy Spirit. He knows our hearts and longs to restore them so we can enjoy a close relationship with Him.

Lord, thank You for Your promise to take our hearts of stone and transform them into hearts wholly healed. Cause us to face our sins and shortcomings, repent of them and follow You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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