“If today you hear the sound of God’s voice, harden not your hearts.”
This verse from Scripture always gives me pause. Pause because I have to consider 2 things: 1) whether I have heard God’s voice, and if so, what have I heard? And 2) if I haven’t heard God’s voice, is it because my heart is closed to hearing? Or does my heart hear, but I ignore it because something is distracting me?
Our Lord asks one thing of us, and that is for us to give Him our whole selves, and what this verse does is force me to examine my life for anything that keeps me from giving my whole self to God–to see if my heart divided.
In our world today, we are constantly bombarded with distractions, so to be attentive to God’s voice is always challenging, but even more distracting are our addictions. The word “addiction” tends to be an unpopular (or embarrassing) term, but the reality is an addiction is present whenever we recognize and admit to any bad habits that create unhealthy selfishness and narcissism in the midst of our use of anything, but despite this recognition, we continue to act as we have always done. This is a classic sign of addiction, but our world downplays these things.
For example, my desire for chocolate. Not a bad thing in itself, but when I am focused upon tracking down some dark chocolate mint Bark Thins when I am on vacation so I don’t have to go “without”, then I might have to relook at whether my desire is a bit disordered.
What I describe can apply to a whole bunch of things, everything from that cup of coffee in the morning to the evening glass of wine to the absolute “necessity” to get in a workout or go see the latest Marvel or Harry Potter movie (2 more of my vices), or purchase the latest gadget or planning the next excursion to whatever place I have been longing to go. Fundamentally, none of these things are bad in themselves, but when they distract us from what is truly important in this life, then we need to face the reality that our hearts are “hardened” and not listening to God because we are distracted by the siren call of whatever our addiction may be.
And why do I need to recognize the addictions in my life? So, I can see how my ability to exercise my free will is crippled from being exercised how God intended, but more importantly, so I can acknowledge my need to be freed of those addictions, and the reality that I am not capable of freeing myself.
THIS is the wisdom behind why God desires us to give our whole selves to Him. So we can be freed of our addictions and sins, enabling us to be healed and transformed into the sons and daughters of God that we are.
So how is your heart hardened or divided? Take the time to reflect on that question for once we can recognize our addictions, we are that much closer to being healed of them and freed to choose wisely and well.
Hope to see you on the Way tomorrow.