A Hardened Heart
To me one of the saddest events in scripture is when someone hardens their heart. One example is in Exodus 8:19 when it says, "But Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not listen". Sad to say, but Pharaoh was not the last person to have that problem. What drives that hardening of the heart? It may not be the same for everybody, but I feel like pride and arrogance are two of the leading culprits. Why would you want or need to listen to anybody else when you have all the answers?
I don't think you will find too many humble people who have a hard heart. I bet you can think of examples of both kinds of people right now! The scary thing is that Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 10:14 to "shake the dust off your feet" when they encounterd those who would not listen. I take that to mean, "don't waste your time, they aren't going to change". In Ephesians 4 Paul starts the chapter talking about how to live as a disciple. Being humble and gentle are right at the top, and then he goes on to talk about how people live who have hardened their heart. He describes them as darkened in their understanding, ignorant, and separated from the the life of God.
Lord, I pray my heart never ever becomes hardened. Please send brothers and sisters my way to confront me if I ever start going down that path. It's happened to others, so I know it can happen to me also. I also pray for those who have let this terrible thing happen to them. If it is going to cost them their soul, I pray you do WHATEVER it takes to cause their heart to be softened to where they can hear your voice again......your sweet loving voice! Amen