Don’t Harden Your Heart!

Words of Truth from the Proverbs
Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29:1

I think we’ve probably all seen the picture of the small child sitting in the corner after being reprimanded or disciplined. His or her arms are crossed and there’s a scowl on their face. The caption below the picture shares the thoughts of the child, “I may be sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside!”

Well, today’s Proverb deals directly with that attitude. Oh, and by the way, it’s not just children that carry that attitude.

Proverbs 29:1 states, “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

The first thing we need to understand here is what does “often rebuked” mean and why would they be “often rebuked”?

I feel that in the context of the short Proverb it may be because this individual is continually making the wrong decisions and not learning from their mistakes and poor choices.

Whenever someone gets into a pattern of choosing the wrong direction in life, they are going to receive continual rebukes from a multitude of sources.

For a child or a youth, it might be from parents, teachers or other sources of authority. For the adult it might be from a superior at work, some official authority or even others within the community.

When given a rebuke for bad decisions we have two choices: we can heed the correction or we can harden our hearts and continue on our own path.

The fact is, the Word of God tells us that the authorities in our lives are there for our own good – whether that be parents or some civil authority. As a Believer we also have the Holy Spirit working in our lives to bring correction. The more we ignore these warnings in our lives, the harder our hearts grow.

Then, as the Proverb declares, we find ourselves in a place of personal or spiritual destruction, and without repentance there is no remedy for the consequences of our sinful actions or attitudes.

It is always better to heed the warnings early on and thus allow our hearts to be conformed to the image of Christ, rather than this world.