Soften to God and harden to sin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” (Jeremiah 6:15)

According to Romans 15:4, the Old Testament record was given to us to help instruct us in God’s ways. The records of Israel and her activity before God, her constant falling away and return, serve us by showing how merciful and tolerant God is as well as how just and demanding He is.

When Jeremiah gave his prophecy to Israel he pointed out, from God’s perspective, one of the problems she had. She had lost her capacity to feel the sting of sin. She had lost her sensitivity to sin.

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I overheard a man talking a few days ago, rehearsing an event that took place in his life. Some years ago he had fallen down several steps. As a result of the fall he suffered a total numbness in his left leg for a number of years. It was so bad that he could not even feel pressure when applied against it. Because of that, he could run into something, receive a bruise or cut, and never know it until he actually saw evidence of the wound. That is frightening, isn’t it?

Sin is like that. We can become so numb to things that displease God that we never feel the pain. We can get to the point that we will do and say something that are off-color or downright crude and never feel a tinge of guilt. It doesn’t even make us blush.

Guilt can be an evil or a friend. There are certainly those who feel guilty, even when they have done nothing wrong. Certainly, in a case like this, a person can live a life of misery. On the other hand, guilt can be our friend. It can motivate us to feel a greater sensitivity to sin. It can cause us to blush.

It is possible for someone to train themselves to endure all kinds of pain. There are those who can walk on beds of hot, burning coals and broken slivers of glass without pain. Is it that they have no nerves? Or is it that they have trained themselves to ignore the pain?

Because of the weakness of the flesh and our fleshly willingness to participate in sin, we can train ourselves to ignore the pain or the guilt of our actions. Through a series of training steps we learn to justify our wrongful actions, sidestep the real issues, and convince ourselves that we are doing the right thing. In this we learn not to blush. We learn not to feel guilt. We learn to let it slide.

Each time we go through this process our hide gets a little tougher and our callouses get a little thicker. Through this, our sensitivity to sin gets a little weaker. We then get to the point that our sinfulness doesn’t even disturb us.

We need to soften to God and harden to sin. We have had the process reversed far too long!

Do you still feel it?


Rev. Marshall Murphy

Rev. Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church of Demopolis. Rev. Murphy can be reached at the church office at 289-3615 or by email at