Friday, May 28, 2010
Thick Skin is Like Armor
Thick skin is like armor. You shouldn't wear it if you're not in battle.
Thick skin can be a good thing when it comes to protecting yourself and keeping your heart and mind and spirit pure. But if someone was to wear that armor all the time then they would never see or experience the world in the way God intended. A suit of metal would never allow a person to feel the tenderness of the touch of someone who loves them, be it the man of woman they love or their family or friends or the Lord.
You should never guard yourself from the man or woman who loves you. Why would you want to miss out on the tenderness of his or her fingers on your cheek and the yearning of his or her heart and the tear falling over his or her cheek for the love and desperation that he or she feels for you? That is love. Love is not scary, and it does not call for any defenses. Love is the absence of defenses. Love is beautiful. Love is only scary if you let it scare you or if you let yourself believe that this person will fall out of love with you or if you never let yourself love back because you don't want to be hurt again. If someone loves you they will not take a sword up against you, they will take up tenderness and affection. They take up a desire in their spirit to strive for something better along side you.
The Lord will most likely speak to you with a tender voice or a gentle whisper, not a loud booming voice. You must let your heart be permeable to Him. You can't keep it locked "safely" behind iron doors. You must open yourself. Be receptive to Him. Yes "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23), but in Phillipians 4:7 it says that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." You never guard your heart FROM Christ, you always guard it IN Christ. He will always protect it. The best place to leave it is with Him.
Thick skin is a good thing when you are in battle. Put on your thick skin when you are up against the devil, but just keep in mind that the only way you have effective armor is in the Lord and through His Word. Keep your thick skin God-centered. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23a. That is the only "thick skin" or armor that will stand up against an attack from the devil, the defenses you yourself can come up with will only fail. And not only will they fail, but the devil will convince you that you didn't fail.
Its funny how I write so much and yet everything ALWAYS comes back to keeping your eyes fixed on the Lord. "But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge -- do not give me over to death." Psalm 141:8.
*picture taken by: marfis75*