Mote worked in the building for years. As I got to know him I was amazed at his disdain for women—particularly his own wife. He would ridicule her at every chance and belittle her publicly. He made her seem stupid. He complained of her shortcomings yet seemed clueless to his own failings. In fact, the more I got to know him the more I could appreciate the pain his wife must have endured. Perhaps most grievous, was knowing that he was unfaithful to her and completely uncaring.
I tried for years to befriend Mote and basically got nowhere. I prayed for him and served him when reality suggested I should have fired or at least reprimanded him. For a man with potential to do well it was ironic how much stress he caused. I often wondered, what made him so prickly, so insecure as to be mean-spirited, so cynical and callous?
Ephesians 4:17-19—Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.
5:3—But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints.
I’m sure you know someone who is difficult to get along with, a proverbial “pain in the saddle.” Callous people are unconcerned if others are hurt because in truth they don’t care. But there are sure clues to the cause of this coldhearted state, this pitiless, thick-skinned behavior. The Apostle Paul gives us a clear answer in his letter to the Ephesians.
The layering of evil desires causes callousness. For example, a man gravitates towards what the Bible forbids. He feeds his eyes with pornography or lust for other women. This habit if left unchecked, devalues women. When impure desires increase in appetite an immediate conflict emerges. The conscience decries the flesh. A man hates to be conflicted so he squashes the voice that condemns the carnal. Now the heart finds its own arteries stiffening. Hard hearts resist the life and word of God. When His light is quenched dark thoughts are free to roam and immorality increases in scope and magnitude. Evil belittles kindness as weak and fails to understand the meaning of love. If futile thinking comes from knowledge bereft of God, callousness comes from running on the broad road that leads to destruction.
I know what it is like to build calluses. So do you. Isaiah says we have all gone astray and turned to our own way. But praise God, He loves us so much that instead of destroying us like we deserve, He punished His perfect Son in our place (Isaiah 53:6). Tenderness is the absence of flesh and only a tender Father would tender His Son to settle our debt. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
We are not here to serve our own purpose; we are here, by the grace of God and by His indwelling Spirit, to glorify our Lord and Master. If He brings us up against callous people, mean, ungrateful, sponging people, we must never turn our faces for one second from our Jerusalem, because that is a temper of mind in which Jesus cannot be glorified.—Oswald Chambers inSo Send I You
©2007Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)