Last week was tough for me because I had to quit meeting with some young people who I’d been working with for a while because their hearts had become hard.
This is actually a very common theme. Children listen as I evangelise and disciple them, but eventually befriend young people who think it’s funny to be rebellious and disrespectful.
I used to pursue a child who had become hard-hearted, but eventually learned thats as waste of my time.
Because it isn’t my job to break their hard heart….
That’s God’s job.
The major reason why I find myself walking away from hard-hearted individuals is the Lord provides tender hearted ones to take their place.
Unfortunately it’s easy to focus so much on the hard-hearted youth, that the tender-hearted one is ignored.
I’ve used this illustration before, but it explains my point well. Often the problem student in the classroom gets almost all of the attention from the teacher and other students. This attention is a reward for bad behaviour, while the student who does the right thing gets very little attention. Eventually many of them become rebellious because it gives them attention.
In the same way, using our energy to recognise the young person or adult who is honouring the Lord is a much better investment of energy than trying to break a hardened heart.
We walk away from hardened hearts because God is the one who closes doors of ministry, and always opens up new ones. As someone who has spent a lot of time trying to open up a door that God has opened, let me tell you it never works!
It will always be hard seeing those I’ve poured my heart into reject the Lord, and wander into sin like the prodigal son. But I let them go. Because they will return with a humble heart, and transformed life.