How do you react when someone says something uncomfortable about you? How do you react when your wife criticises your behaviour? How do you react when people make unfavourable comments about your children? What direction does your mood travel in when your laziness or lateness or forgetfulness is pointed out to you? How do you react when a colleague highlights your double standards? What is your response to your sin being pointed out to you?
I heard a good illustration on this recently. Imagine that it was possible to completely get rid of your nerve endings. Imagine that it were possible without too much fuss to rid yourself of any physical sensation and therefore not be able to experience pain. At one level that sounds good (a pain free life) but, without nerve endings you will, indeed, avoid pain but you will experience damage. No nerve endings = no pain yes but, you will suffer very serious damage – you will start running into things, you will break your nose, impair your fingers, badly bruise your toes and so on. Here is the point if when you hear something uncomfortable you always respond negatively – storming off to your den, having a temper tantrum, snapping at your kids, moaning at your husband – then you’re slowly deadening your nerve endings. The end result of such behaviour is a completely hardened heart and much damage all around you
So think again – how did you react the last time that you were confronted about your sin? What was your response when your husband/wife, child, work colleague, neighbour, church member challenged you? Did you take the Biblical escape-route or did you cut off another nerve ending?