This is strange but calluses interest me. It’s interesting that when our bodies experience pain in the same spot often, our skin reacts by forming a callous. When our skin forms that callous, we experience less pain. If you have done much work with your hands or walked barefoot outside often, you know exactly what I’m talking about. However, calluses can be dangerous. Not the kind that form on our skin, but the ones that form on our heart.
In Ephesians 4, Paul contrasts a life in Christ with a life outside of Christ. In verse 18-19 he says, “The (unbelievers, JG) are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (ESV). Paul’s warning here is one that we too must heed: Watch out for Satan’s apathy trap!
What is it exactly that makes apathy and calloused hearts so dangerous? Apathy breeds lukewarm servants. In Revelations 3:15-16 Jesus tells the Laodicean Christians: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; Would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (NASBU). Our Lord despises lukewarm, apathetic service. Instead, He requires full self-denial and submission (Luke 9:23).Apathy hardens our hearts to sin.
You know, one of the worst feelings in the world is guilt. As much as we hate that feeling, there is such a thing as healthy guilt, given to us by God. It’s what we call our conscience. However, when we fall into Satan’s apathy trap, those feelings of guilt slowly fade. Our hearts begin to harden; our calluses begin to form. Maybe this comes in the form of justification, or maybe, we slowly stop caring about sin. When we fall into the apathy trap, we become like the unbelievers in Ephesians, alienated from our God because of our hardness of heart.
So, how can we fight Satan’s apathy trap? First, let’s follow Paul’s advice in Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..” (ESV). Rather than allowing the ways of this world to mold us, let us constantly fix our eyes on Jesus, allowing ourselves to be transformed, to be molded, by our perfect God.
Second, lets pray to our Father that our hearts will break for the things that break His. Lets be fervent in our prayers to God that our hearts never become calloused, but that our sins will make us as broken hearted as they make Him.
Satan’s apathy trap can be tempting and dangerous, but we don’t have to let him win!
- Jared Green