Heart calluses ∙
I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. – Romans 11:25
18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.
19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
The most common calluses are those we get on our feet and hands. These external calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop from repeated friction, irritation, or pressure on the skin.
These hardened skin layers or calluses are your body’s way of protecting the underlying skin from irritation and pressure. For most people, eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes calluses disappear.
Internally calluses are chalklike concretions that form in the tissues or small joints. They can slow or completely paralyze movement. When a bone is broken, set, and recovered, the area becomes thicker and harder than the original bone. The healed area is also called a callus (Barclay).
The Greek word translated as hardness, callousness, or insensitivity is porosis. Porosis is derived from the Greek verb poroo to harden, petrify, render insensitive (Mark 3:5, Romans 11:25, Ephesians 4:18). Poros originally meant a stone that was harder than marble. Finally, the word came to represent the loss of all power of sensation; it described something that had become so hardened and petrified that it could not feel at all (Barclay).
Physical calluses are rarely a problem. But spiritual calluses are quite a different thing. It is a state devoid of feeling and mental awareness (Zodhiates). Such hardening is one of the primary characteristics of soulishness, fleshliness, or unbelief.
Before we became children of the King, it was one of the essential characteristics of our lives. We were concerned with empty things which do not matter; our minds are darkened because of our ignorance. The result was grim and terrible: our hearts were petrified and turned to stone. We had lost the power of feeling with our hearts and being flexible with our minds (Barclay). Sadly, the hearts of many
children of the King are hardened.
Spiritual petrification or dullness is the heart’s response to the irritation of sin and its consequences. Repeated sin has a petrifying effect. At first, people may regard sin with concern. When they sin, remorse and regret enter their hearts. But, if people continue to sin, there comes a time when they lose all sensation and can do the most shameful things without any feeling at all. Their consciences have become petrified (Barclay).
REFLECT & PRAY
To eliminate heart calluses, it is necessary to remove what causes them, or they re-form.
Father You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part, You will make me know wisdom. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow (Psalms 51:6, 7).
The heart describes the root of our unconscious and conscious motivation (Constable). Hardening of the heart is an expression found in both the Old and New Testaments. It occurs many times in the book of Exodus concerning the stubbornness of Pharaoh. Upon closer inspection, sometimes the Pharaoh hardened his own heart. At other times, the Father hardened Pharaoh’s heart. In each instance, one of two different Hebrew words is used to describe Pharaoh’s heart: qashah – difficult or chazaq – strong. But in each case, it refers to the Pharaoh’s stubbornness and inflexibility (UBS).
The outward signs of heart calluses are stubbornness, willfulness, obstinacy, rigidness, and the like. We are set in our ways and unwilling to change. We have made up our minds and refuse to budge.
With regards to physical calluses, to eliminate them, it is necessary to remove the source of irritation, or they re-form. The same is true of calluses of the heart. But this presents a real practical problem for each child of the King. Because we really do not know our own hearts as well as we think we do.
Jeremiah 17:9 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Yet we are assured that the Father Himself knows the condition of each person’s heart and the source of every callous.
Jeremiah 17:10 I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives.
David had significant calluses on his heart. He hardened his heart when he contemplated and acted out his sin with Bathsheba. David provides a model prayer for us to discover what is in our hearts so that we might begin to remove the sources of our spiritual “heart disease.”
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
A teachable spirit goes a long way.
Proverbs 12:1 To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
© Dr. H 2022