Hardened

 “I’m sorry, I’m sorry… I shouldn’t be so emotional… I — I don’t know why I cry about these things… I should just suck it up and be tough.”  Katie wiped tears from her eyes as she said these words to me beside the coffee makers and sugar packets in the back room.  She was crying over the fact that her boyfriend, whom she is living with, didn’t care enough to even tell her where he was.  “I’m silly to cry — I know… I’ll stop, really I will.” She stifled a sob as she tried to control her emotions.  She had hardened herself for years, but she could only contain her anguished heart for so long.

In our world, girls and women are taught to be tough, to be strong, to be unflappable.  They are taught to fight, bite and lash out.  Selfishness and pride are considered high self-esteem and confidence.  The people who go far are the ones that beat the rest down.  “Survival of the fittest” is the mantra of our society.  Innocence and purity, humility and love — these are left behind.  Women become brash, crass and unashamed.  Their beauty becomes physical alone as the truest source of loveliness is crushed while still in the bud.

I read once that when a girl ceases to blush, she has lost the greatest beauty she will ever have.  For some reason, I never forgot that quote.  Sometimes, when I was embarrassed, I would run to a mirror to see if I was blushing — just to make sure!  But why would blushing be a virtue?  Because when a girl blushes, it reveals innocence and humility.  Usually a girl will blush when she is flattered, excited, and in some cases, shocked.  But when a girl ceases to blush, she has become hardened.

It is easy to become hardened to the ways of the world.  They sneak up on you bit by bit, and if you compromise on the littlest sins, they soon give way to the greater.  When I began my job, my ears were ringing from all the cussing I heard during the course of the day.  While my co-workers kindly refrained from taking the Lord’s name in vain in front of me, they did not stop repeating other words that are not glorifying to God.  Over time I came to expect their language, and while I never repeated it, it didn’t shock me so much anymore.  I ceased to blush.

The same thing happened in my speech class at my local college.  My teacher, a non-Christian, would occasionally tell rather crude jokes to the class.  At first I couldn’t believe he would dare say them, but because the class thought they were funny, he continued.  Every time he read them I could feel my face flaming.  But what if I no longer felt ashamed to hear his jokes?  What if I laughed at them with everyone else?  My heart and mind would move one step closer to excusing sin.

Becoming hardened happens quickly and without warning.  The question is — how do we as godly young women keep our hearts and minds pure, walk in innocence and light, and glorify our Savior and Lord?  The world is ready at every turn to corrupt, tempt and lead astray.  Some do not intend harm, but because they are not saved they are at the ready use of the Enemy for his purposes.  The walk with God is not always in green pastures, and beside still waters.  This I am discovering now.  So we must be vigilant.  We must be strong.  The answer to the question lies in the verse below:

“The Lord God will help me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.”  (Is. 50:7)

Do not be hardened to the sins of the world, so that you tolerate and accept them, but DO be hardened against sin.  He will help you!  Your face will be firm, and so will your heart, and you will not be ashamed to be innocent, pure and upright.  Just because the world is doing it never makes it right — and the Enemy desires nothing better than to have you follow in the path of the thousands of others who don’t want to stand out.  Instead, they harden their hearts to sin and eventually, fall into sin themselves.

“Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.  Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts.  Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your stautes.  My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.”  (Ps. 119:133-136)

When the world beats a path to your door, as it always does when it comes to sin, makes sure it is unable to get a foot across the threshold.  Keep your heart firm in faith, and your face free for blushing — because your innocence to sin is the most beautiful evidence for Christ that you possess. 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Again, I completely agree with you!
    I find also that I have to guard my ears at stores. The music is so horrible! When I go out of the store, I hear the words or tune in my head sometimes and I have to call out to the Lord and ask Him to remove it. However, I’ve learned to quote scripture in stores with loud music which helps!

  2. This truth is so needed. I have struggled with this message, especially when I was younger, in regard to the “appeal” of a tough woman. I never wanted people to see me embarrassed, blushing, etc., but as you said, this actually reveals the purity of beauty.

    Thanks for the awesome encouragement.

  3. Great post. For a while, I think I was that hardened woman. Thankfully, I don’t believe it’s a permanent condition, and I’m much “softer” again now. 🙂

    Thanks for your post on my blog! I don’t really have a public blogroll- I just subscribe through bloglines, but I’d be honored if you want to link to me. I have another blog, too, my “main” one here: http://www.jamiescottage.blogspot.com

  4. Phy,
    I sure enjoy reading your thoughts here from time to time. The articles are excellent!
    With Love,
    Dad

  5. I never thought of blushing that way!

  6. Phylicia this is a very good post. i just wanted to let you know that it blesses me so much to read about your walk with the Lord. I know so many young (Christian) girls that are just waisting their life and I find it so sad. It encourages me to know that there are young girls reading your posts and being encouraged by them. I too have missed you on Facebook… I have thought about closing my account, but haven’t because it has also allowed me to share with people I haven’t seen in a long time about my faith, my blog… people can see who I am or who I’ve become and I have been able to use it as a tool to share. It is also a great way to be in touch with my church, as they are all my contacts and we can plan activities through it. So, it is useful for now… but only for now 😉 Oh and about Nikhil something… remember you asked me if he was a friend of mine… he’s actually the programmer of whatever application you were using, i think it was superpoke.

    God bless you, it’s great to read you again.

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