Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Set in concrete

I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed. Ezekiel 36:26 MSG

A co-worker makes a plan, but allows wiggle room by saying, “Yes, but it’s not set in concrete.” You remember finding fresh, damp concrete, with no guard around—perfect for kids to scratch their names or “Skooter + Pookie” in, hoping to make an eternal mark.

It’s been said, “Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.” We all know those people. (Not ourselves, of course. And don’t cast your eyes about the room just now!)

Concrete sidewalk and driveway sections can trip you when the inexorable tree roots heave them upward. All around seismically active Southern California we see cracks, raised or sunken sidewalks, crumbled places where trucks crushed a curb, freeway barriers broken from impact, old bridges being replaced, concrete-lined rivers with sections washed out… the list is endless. Concrete is not permanent. It erodes, breaks, even tumbles down flood channels.

The thing is, just about the only way to change concrete is to destroy it. We read in Exodus 7:13 that Pharaoh’s heart (mind) was hard and repelled the lessons of God. Solomon had low regard for the concreted mind when he said in Proverbs 27:22 NIV, “Though you grind a fool [one who is morally deficient] in a mortar, grinding him like grain with a pestle, you will not remove his folly from him.” And: “Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both.” Proverbs 27:3 NIV

So what’s the plan? Although it’s important to stand solidly on moral ground and to build your foundation on the Rock, remember to balance those worthy goals with a soft heart, on which the Lord can write His law of love. Surely Paul was remembering Ezekiel 36:26 when he wrote: “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV

Would you rather be set in your ways, or a living love letter from Christ?

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