by Pastor Tim Burt
One Sunday morning at church, I was standing in our lobby greeting people from the congregation when a big burly guy walked up to me and shook my hand. He grabbed my hand with his big strong grip and gave me a big smile. I couldn’t’ help but notice how rough and callous his hand was. The feel of his hand was opposite of the feel of his kind heart. Calloused hands do not imply a callous heart.
We can live with calloused hands. Many do and it protects their hands from being hurt from the very objects they handle over and over again. But, we can’t live with a calloused heart and be okay. Calluses keep you from feeling everything you touch with the sensitivity that you’d feel if you didn’t have them. Having a calloused heart robs one of the sensitivity of the heart that would allow one to hear from God and follow His leading. Psalm 119:70 NKJV says, “Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.”
Something precious that God has given us is our conscience. Those that don’t know God have their conscience trained by worldly thinking. Having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ enables our conscience to be trained by the Holy Spirit. Jesus described that help for our conscience like this: “…when the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13) This is where our conscience learns to discern between right and wrong, guilt and shame, and anger, or forgiveness and grace, and so much more. Our conscience also gives us discernment within our decision-making processes that becomes the wisdom of God.
John 14:17NKJV says, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.” If you read that verse closely you saw that it says, “…but you know Him.” Jesus was making it clear that those that truly know God, can sense the indwelling of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of truth. As we become sensitive to the Holy Spirit within us, we can feel our conscience being taught, trained, and led by Him. When our conscience is sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit, then we know we aren’t callous toward Him.
The beauty of our spirit and conscience being trained and sensitive to God is that it will at times, lead us to do things that would defy logical worldly thinking. God might lead us to throw money in a Salvation Army kettle when our mind is saying, You don’t have the money to do this. God may have you give a special offering at your church or a gift to someone in need at the same time your mind is screaming, You’ve just spent everything you have on your mom’s Mothers Day gift and this is something you cannot afford to do! Yet you know God is telling you to.
A friend of mine who has a small business as an electrician was telling me how he was given the opportunity to do some work in a huge department store—an account he would have loved to have. He spent a number of hours doing some emergency repair work at a time when he desperately needed some income. When it came time to pay the bill, the manager said, How much do I own you? My friend told me that suddenly he remembered something I had taught him in church from God’s Word. I had taught the business group that when I was in business, I often sowed some free work into those I did business with. That it was good to sow blessing as it generated good will and often created blessing. I had been teaching from Proverbs 11:24 “It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything.”
When the manager said, How much do I owe you? my friend suddenly said, Not a thing. This is the first time doing business with you and it’s on me. I want you to become familiar with my work and if you like it, I hope you will call me again. The manager was almost in shock. He replied, You know we normally use a particular company who loves to gouge me when I need emergency work done. Not only that, their attitude is usually bad. I have wanted to find a new electrician group for some time. You have just become my new electrician for our store!
Had this man not had a sensitive conscience toward God and His Word, he would have never thought like this nor yielded to this kind of prompting by God. God has a better way and it has to do with having a sensitive heart. Oh and by the way, my friend’s hands are callous but his heart sure is tender. How about yours?
James 3:13 (NIV) “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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