Could Jesus be talking about me? Do I have a hard heart?
Hardness of heart equals lovelessness, not valuing another person. The Pharisees showed that they valued neither women nor Jesus. The disciples did not value the children.
The world thinks of love as a feeling of passion, strong affection. In scripture, love is more than feeling. It is action which begins with God. It is valuing others in words and deeds. Jesus said, “?love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you?” (John 15:12b-14) Jesus’ love extended to all, whether or not they loved in return.
Hard-heartedness is putting one’s own needs and desires first, ignoring others or pushing them away, putting them down with unkind words and actions. None of us can escape it. But God created people to live and work together, to build each other up, to be community. Because Jesus has promised to be with us and in us, God is able to melt our hard hearts so that God’s love can work through us.
Lord Jesus, live in us, that we may carry your love to others in our words and actions. Amen. — JCH