26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ~ Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)
For the past few weeks I’ve been delving into the subject of inner healing. I’ve covered the basics: 1) You were made for joy and 2) Get to the roots.
There can be all sorts of roots. Fear based roots. Inferiority based roots. Anger based roots. Guilt based roots. There are many others as well, I’m sure. But, here is an interesting truth I discovered. As various hurts and issues enter our lives, there are a few basic ways of dealing with them.
I’ve even justified to myself that they aren’t walls of unforgiveness. I don’t wish harm on anyone. I don’t hold a grudge. I simply don’t trust certain people. Especially authority figures. Especially male authority figures (now don’t blame my sweet laidback dad, this goes back to other controlling men in my life.)
I like my walls. They keep me safe. Even with those people I’m so sweet and warm to, there are parts of myself that I hide. I can give love and encouragement, not be easily offended, etc…but do I let you in? Do I give you the power to wound me? Not often.
Yes, this year I’ve discovered that I have hard, stony places in my heart. So what am I supposed to do about it? Wear my heart on my sleeve? Learn to be a victim? No, I don’t think so. But this question has caused me to take a new look at a scripture from the beatitudes that I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around, “Blessed are they that mourn…” Why on earth would God bless me for mourning? I'm tough. I'm a fighter. I can take care of myself. I have my emotions under control.
When we don’t harden our hearts and protect ourselves, we allow ourselves to mourn the hurts in our lives. And what happens when we mourn? The answer is right there in the same verse, “…for they shall be comforted.” By mourning and turning to God, we allow ourselves to receive comfort and healing. We let others see the hard times we’re going through so that they can pray for us, love on us, and minister to us as well.
This has probably been the most important lesson I’ve learned in 2010. So as we enter 2011, my top New Year’s Resolution is to live with a heart of flesh.
What about you? What has God shown you in 2010? What are your goals for 2011? Do you need to learn to soften your heart?