Losing Forty Pounds Of Flesh
While sitting in my dermatologist's office waiting for my appointment, I noticed a TV screen with a slide that said that a normal person will shed forty pounds of flesh or to be more specific - skin - over the course of a lifetime. (Now I know why the "dust" keeps piling up at home!)
I tried to imagine what forty pounds of butter, or in this case, the hide, the pelt, the skin of my sleek, well-fatted body would look like piled up. And then I tried to imagine what would happen if I did not slough off my old skin but instead built up a hardened impenetrable hide, coarse and rough to the touch.
Then, fast forward to the study of Hebrews where I learned that God continually warns me about hardening my heart and succumbing to unbelief. Apparently it is possible for my heart, the center of my personality, intellect and emotions, to become hardened toward the things of God. What a precarious position if an organ in my own body really needs to shed the callous skin of unbelief and I am unaware of it.
What can I do to reverse hardening of my heart? Here are a couple of thoughts:
1) I must take time to examine my personal commitment to God. Am I paying attention to Him or am I drifting away? Have I become dull and unresponsive to God?
2) I must take time to evaluate my relationships with other Christians. Am I paying attention to my brothers and sisters in Christ or have I stopped listening? Have I become callous, lacking sympathy toward others?
If I am going to lose forty pounds of flesh over my lifetime, than I want to lose it from my callous heart. I want a responsive and vibrant faith. I want the things that please God to sink down deep into the central core of my being where my thoughts, feelings and choices are born. And, I want to experience body life with my brothers and sisters. I want dissonance caused by sin to be challenged and excised from my life. Most of all I want a soft and pliable heart because I want the best that God offers. I want it all!
Proverbs 4:23 says, Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.