I confess I sometimes catch myself being apathetic or even stone-hearted—especially when I am so busy, like in December.
Sadly, it is true. It might be as drastic as ignoring someone who needs something, or it might be a sudden realization I am having thoughts or attitudes that are not very nice towards someone else—not even close to what God would want.
At all of these moments, I decide one of two things: either I don’t care how I am acting or thinking. (Maybe even enjoying it! Yikes!) OR I choose to change my actions and thoughts, and therefore my attitude, by thinking about God’s Word and what He would want me to do.
This is one of those “is my faith real or not?” moments for me—if I choose not to care, I believe I take one step toward building a heart of stone, placing one more rock on the pile in my heart.
But if I listen to the Holy Spirit and choose to go into “thought attack” mode and to change my attitude, I am developing a moldable Christ-like softened heart. I do this by practicing the Bible verse 2 Corinthians 10:5:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
I can take thoughts captive (attack them) by practicing Philippians 4:8:
"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies” (The Message Bible).
At Christmastime, sadly, this can be more challenging because we get so busy, caught up in ourselves, and often very fatigued. However, by being in God's word, our minds and hearts will stay more focused on what is lovely, gracious, and true, and what Christmas and Jesus are truly about.
I want to encourage all of us to have a few moments of Scripture study and prayer every day, even if it is just five minutes. You’ll be amazed how it helps you avoid adding rocks to the stone pile in your heart and keeps you focused on the true.
Here are a few of my favorite Christmas devotional books that I would recommend:
You can WIN Liz Curtis Higgs’ book, “The Women of Christmas”!
Just comment on my blog and tell me one idea you have practiced or heard to keep your heart “soft” at Christmas. On Monday morning, December 14th, one name will be drawn, and I’ll announce the winner.
"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
Here’s to preventing stone hearts this Christmas. And attacking negative thoughts!
Denise, The Thought-Attack Woman