by Joni Eareckson Tada
"See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:
Looking back over the places I've visited, Africa remains vivid生动的, especially the plight困境 of its disabled people. Diseases we don't hear much about, like polio小儿麻痹症 and leprosy, are prevalent there. Leprosy causes people to lose the sensation of pain. With no pain to warn them, these people badly damage their fingers or feet to the point they destroy that part of their bodies.
I remember one homeless woman who had no hands but pulled herself around in the dirt on the stumps树桩 of her wrists手腕. She had built up calluses老茧, and her skin had become hardened. I wondered how much more damage she was doing to her body.
Now, you might think I have nothing in common with that woman. But I do. And maybe you do, too. A spiritual leprosy is described in the verses for today. This leprosy causes a person's soul to become hardened by sin's deceitfulness不诚实. You spiritually lose all sensation of pain, especially things that pain God. You end up ripping your soul apart, and you don't even realize it. White becomes black, black becomes white. You think that what others call your backsliding isn't all that bad.
Listen, leprosy is something you don't fool around with. If you have lied, go back and make it right before you become hardened. If you harbor心怀 a fantasy空想的产物, shelve罢免 it! Don't let it deaden your conscience良心. Don't turn away from the Lord. Let me encourage you today to double-check to see if you have any leprous麻疯病的 spots on your soul.
Father of love, never let me move so far from You that I lose my sensitivity to what moves You. Keep me aware of the ways You want me to express Your compassion to the world. Show me any uncleanness in my soul.
Joni and Friends