M-Note 10.16.2021

7 Signs Your Heart Has Hardened 

When’s the last time you felt God revealing something new, big, or exciting to you? Often, we miss out on the new things of God because we’ve allowed our heart to become calloused. Check out these 7 Signs You Might Have a Hard Heart:
7 Signs your heart has hardened (and how to turn it around):
1.     You are on autopilot
We all get there. Things in our life become so routine that we do them without really thinking about them anymore. Without feeling them anymore. This can be especially true when it comes to our faith. Go to church, check. Say a prayer before dinner, check. Autopilot is convenient, but over time it can lead to a routine that no longer keeps us open to new things. Instead, try something new in your faith life. Serve in a new way, try a new group, or mix up your routine. This can give God a chance to meet you in a new way.
2.     You’ve misplaced your passion
It happens to all of us. We begin doing something because we love it. Then over time we get used to it. Then, eventually we just do it because it is familiar. When we aren’t acting out of passion, we can grow stagnant. A solution? Remember what makes you light up and find an outlet to use that passion in a new way.
3.     You're a negative ninny
Ever find yourself complaining a little too much? Nobody does it right, little things annoy you, or you concentrate more on what others aren’t doing. It is easy to not notice the ways that we are slipping into negativity. Replace negativity with gratitude. Look for signs of life. End your day with a simple list of three things that happened, or three encounters that brought you joy or meaning.
4.     You’ve let apathy in
If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders and not caring about more things anymore, it's a warning sign. Apathy can happen to the best of us. We start out working, trying, caring! But over time it is easy and often more convenient to stop trying so hard. A solution to apathy can be recovering a sense of purpose to what you do and remember what (or who) is at stake. People need you. Let that remind you that the work is worth it.
5.     You have a “potential” problem
It is easy for us to focus on the problems all around us. It is harder sometimes to see the potential, to see the opportunities that problems present us. If you find yourself pointing out problems more than potential, try reframing things. Next time you are ready to name what is hard, try naming what the hard thing is teaching you. Next time you are getting ready to complain about something that didn’t go your way, try naming what opportunity the unexpected turn has opened up for you. It is a simple shift, but one that can open us up to a new perspective.
6.     You outsource ownership
Do you ever see a problem and think, “someone else has got it.” Like at church, do you hear about opportunities to serve and leave it to others? Do you see a situation in which you know you could contribute but figure that there is already plenty of help? It is a sign that perhaps you need a new approach. Next time you sense that nudge to serve, or help, or contribute – lean into it, and try it. You might be surprised at how much you are actually needed!
7.     Your new name is devil’s advocate
Do you find yourself overly skeptical or always playing the devil’s advocate? If we experience disappointment or even hurt, it is easy to grow cynical towards others, to stop trusting, and to stop believing. This happens to me sometimes. One solution is to get around kids, seriously. Kids see the world in fresh ways, they prioritize joy, and they can turn even the hardest skeptic into a believer again.
It is easy for our hearts to get a bit hardened over time. This weekend I am starting a new series OPEN.  When we stay open to God it allows God to work in and through us. And when that happens, anything is possible. This series will be the most important conversation we have together as a church. So I hope you will join me for worship, in person or online.
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