A Hardened Heart Leads to Spiritual Brain Fog

I want to address an observation I’ve made as the culture gap widens in our country. In times past, though two parties differed, sound arguments could be made for both sides. Open debate where ideas could be expressed and examined from many angles helped us think through issues and, even if we disagreed, enabled us to understand and even respect the other side. 

Today, if you differ from the other side, you are labeled. Branded as not simply wrong, but evil. True debate is absent. If you differ in opinion, you must be silenced—at least in the view of one side. As for logic, long-term consequences, common sense, and human dignity? Often, that’s absent too. 

The result? Gender confusion. Variants pushed as norms. Convenience taking precedence over the sanctity of life. 

How did we get here? And are we in the church guilty of the same thing?

Sin carries its own punishment. When an individual turns from God, she suffers for it. And the suffering touches more than the spirit. It touches the mind as well. Paul gave us insight into the process in this passage from Ephesians and developed it more fully in Romans 1:

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. Ephesians 4:17-19 NIV

Note the progression:

Futile Thinking: Merriam-Webster defines futile as “serving no useful purpose, occupied with trifles.”

Darkened Understanding: Darkened understanding is no understanding at all. 

Ignorance: They don’t know what they don’t know.

Hardened Hearts: Paul points to a hard heart as the source of their ignorance. Hardened toward what? God. 

Lost Sensitivity: Sensitivity to what? To God. To right and wrong.

Indulgent Sensuality: Does the fact that the average age of children trafficked in the sex trade is dropping, now between 11 and 13, speak to this issue?

Paul spelled out a warning to the early church that applies to believers today. Are we experiencing spiritual brain fog? If so, we need to check our obedience. Our sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Our response to conviction. 

Keep a clear head. Deal quickly with sin before the heart hardens and spiritual brain fog sets in. 

Workout of the Week: A Hardened Heart and Spiritual Brain Fog

Memory Verse: So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. Ephesians 4:17-19 NIV

Meditation Passage: Romans 1

Do It: Keep your heart soft.