Not long after we got married, my husband and I decorated our new appartment. He was better at home improvement than me so he gave me the menial jobs like tea-making and vacuuming up his messes.
I was fed up with being the dogsbody so I dug my heels in. I started to argue that I was adept at any task and could do half the ‘real’ work. I hardened my heart each time my husband sent me on an inane errand.
Why should I be his slave? In the end, I exclaimed, “I can do home improvement!” With an intensely annoying expression of disbelief plastered across his face, my husband handed me a screwdriver and told me, “Change the living room door handle.”
“That’s easy,” I muttered as I set to work. I removed each screw and, feeling wonderfully smug, pulled the handle out. I closed the door to shut out my husband’s patronising guidance. I stooped down to collect the new knob to start the second part of the job.
Then it dawned on me. You need an open door to fix a handle. But I’d removed the handle and shut the door! I was covered in sweat and locked in our living room.
I hollered through the door whilst my husband amused himself by leaving me there to reflect upon my stupidity for twenty minutes. What a berk! It’s amazing how silly we can be when we’re stubborn.
This is a harmless example, but the attitudes of our heart can get us into trouble. However easygoing you are, there are probably moments when you are stubborn. We all want our own way from time to time.
To fulfil our destiny, we must be determined and disciplined. The key is to remain unshakeable whilst becoming bendable. We need to grow what’s good whilst breaking what’s bad.
Are you sometimes stubborn too?
When we are stubborn, we find it difficult to see our own error. We will argue our point and stand firm in our own opinion. People close to us might become frustrated because we fight our corner until they surrender (whether we are right or wrong!).
In effect, we harden our hearts to the views or voices of others. When we harden our hearts, we withstand convicting truth. We probably believe that we are obeying God, but very often He sends us a message through other people. We have to learn to listen with an open mind to the perspectives of others. It might be the Spirit speaking.
“He who hardens his heart will fall.” Proverbs 28:14b
God has an awesome plan for our lives. He has great places He wants to take us and great people He wants to release into our lives as friends or mentors. However, He may have to wait until we are ready.
We all know what it feels like to resist challenge and insist that we’re right. We have to learn to stop arguing, humble ourselves and listen.
With hands lifted up, we all sing at the top of our voices, “I surrender all, I surrender all.” But in reality, we only really give up what we want to.
“Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 3:7
When your inner voice rejects the challenge of others, why not try to quieten it and hear the comments of your neighbour instead? Even if it takes all your will, choose to listen and even to accept. It demands serious humility, but it’s worth it.
The more we get healed of all inner hurts, the easier it is to humble ourselves. If you know God wants to dig deep and prepare you for your destiny, read our books or even better come to Healed for Life – see www.jonaughton.com for details.