“…and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.” (Eph. 4:19)
Paul is discussing the Gentiles in this passage, but he would apply it to any group of people or individuals who lived in the darkness of their own understanding. When you think of what could happen if people in the world would open their eyes and ears to the word of God it makes you sad to think of a world of people who have become callous.
When I first began to play the guitar the strings hurt my finger as I pushed them down on the frets. After a few minutes, the pain became intense. I wanted to play, but I didn’t want the pain. My teacher assured me that in time the pain would go away. He was right. After pushing down on the strings over and over the skin on my fingers hardened. The strings were the same, but my fingers changed. They grew callouses. The hard pads of thicken skin kept the pain away. I no longer noticed the truth of what was happening, that strings were cutting into my fingers.
Imagine a life that has allowed its conscience to be stung by wrongdoing so many times that thick pads of protection have grown. The conscience is still there, but it feels nothing.
Sin is wrong. We know it is wrong. But if we shut our eyes and our ears to the truth long enough our heart will harden to the truth, and our conscience will grow thick pads of “I don’t care anymore, ” and we will find ourselves in every kind of evil. The truth is, our appetite for impurity and sensuality will grow. We will become greedy for wrongdoing. Like those in Noah’s day, darkened understandings and ignorance of truth will lead us into a state of “evil hearts continually.”
This was the world not only of Noah’s generation but Paul’s as well. Evil abounded; it was present on every hand. It was there because of ignorance of what was good in God’s sight. It was there because the people of the world closed their eyes and ears to the message of hope and salvation. Paul is reminding the Ephesians and us too if we will listen what will happen when you forsake your first love.
Interestingly, the Apostle John in his very old age wrote the same church these words, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Rev. 2:4)
Task for today. Make sure our eyes and ears are open, and the doors to our heart are flung wide open to the truth of God and not the lies of the Devil. Do not let your heart be hardened…”