May 4, 2017
Do you have a hard heart?
Do you know what one is?
“Happy is the one who is always reverent, but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
What are characteristics of a hard heart?
- Unwillingness to listen
- Unwillingness to change
- Lack of teachability
- Insistence on my own way
- Willful blindness
- Bad decisions
Our culture features a decided lack of reverence. People harden in their opposition to people who disagree with them. This does not blend well with happiness. Notice where Proverbs says the atmosphere of happiness is.
It is in reverence.
But, in reverence to who, or what?
The dictionary gives us this:
1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
2. the outward manifestation of this feeling: to pay reverence.
3. a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.
4. the state of being revered, or treated with respect tinged with awe.
We are not discussing a generic nebulous aura of reverence. What or who you revere is important and has great consequences.
Many people seem to revere themselves. This leads to trouble. Can you see any of the four definitions above being self-directed in any healthy way?
We revere leaders. We revere philosophies. In this proverb the idea of “being reverent” has specific application and focus. It has to do with the Fear of the Lord, which is mentioned in many places in the Holy Book.
Is one who always reveres a tree going to be happy? Well, maybe for awhile.
A philosophical question arises: if I am always reverent toward a tree, will I not eventually develop a hard heart? I ask this because if I give undue reverence toward a thing – even a living thing – this in general tends to close me off to the King of the Universe as central. The more I close Him off, the harder will become my heart.
We are dreadful self-masters and self-directors. We are mighty good self-worshipers, but the shambles that result churn the stomach.
The lack of reverence and of the Fear of the Lord leads to deep, compounding troubles. Why are we so afraid to point reverence in a Holy direction?