Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:12-15
Misguided action always begins with a misguided heart.
Before the nation of Israel had a rebellion issue, they had a heart problem. I don’t know how many times I’ve made mistakes in life and came to a corrupt conclusion about the cause. As I’ve grown more self-aware, I have come to realize that while my behavior is sometimes sinful, it is my heart that is truly the problem. The author of Hebrews pointed out that Israel’s hardened hearts cost them dearly. How does a man avoid a hard heart? With a heart remedy.
The recipe for treating the heart is threefold. The first and most important, because without this you can’t apply the next two, is a brotherhood. This very letter was written to many believers, brothers. A faith community is incredibly important to a man’s heart. That leads to the second remedy, a daily conversation. Exhorting, or giving strong, encouraging reminders about God, is how we ought to speak to each other. Giving each other courage is necessary because we live in trying times. And lastly, hold on to the end. Each element of this remedy is essential, and this sequence is needed. Treat your heart, and your actions will align.