Softened Hearts

Bible Reading: Matthew 13

We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

As we move through our recovery, our attitudes can change. We long to live a productive life. We may be exposing ourselves to new ideas, even to the Bible, much more than we ever did before. Yet as we examine ourselves in our personal inventory, we may not see the kind of growth we had hoped for. If this is true, we may need to ask whether our minds and emotions are really receptive to the new thoughts and truths we're hearing.

Jesus told a story to illustrate four ways that the human heart responds to God's Word. Describing the first way, he said, "A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. . . . The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts" (Matthew 13:3-4, 19).

We may find the Bible to be confusing. Maybe we're not able to understand because we are defensive toward God, still feeling that he's rejected us. Perhaps we're angry because of the pain he's allowed in our lives. It won't do us any good, however, if God's Word is getting into our minds, but not our hearts. We can ask God to help us understand and overcome whatever is causing our resistance toward him. As our hearts grow softer, we will begin to see positive spiritual growth.

We don't need to understand everything; God will open our minds and soften our hearts.

 

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Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.