What is a hardened heart?

As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion (Heb. 3:15 ESV)

hardened heart

A hardened heart is a heart that cannot receive the seed of God’s Word. Imagine if a farmer attempted to plant a seed on a rock! The rock is harsh and not conducive for growth.

A hardened heart describes an attitude, your response to hearing God’s Word. It does not apply until God’s Word is sown into a man’s heart. The symptoms of a hard heart may vary, but the underlying disease is the same. It can manifest as spiritual dullness, a lack of understanding of deep spiritual truth (Mark 8:17), the inability to believe what God says, or rebellion and disobedience (Heb. 3:12-19).

A hardened heart hears God’s Word, but may not understand it, does not believe it, or refuses to submit to it. You can understand why this is a prevailing, catastrophic condition amongst us. I see it again and again, probing its ugly head in my own life. I constantly meditate on the Word, and I pray every day for God to help me escape this messy trap. Do a quick check of your own heart, and see what you’ve got. The horror of a hardened heart is that those who suffer from it typically are not even aware of their condition. Your response to God’s Word determines how soft or hard your heart is.


What does a farmer do to soften hard soil (Ps. 65:12)? Declare that “My heart was made soft when I received Christ, and I maintain a soft heart before God always”.


How hardened is your heart? As you spend time in the Word and in prayer, your heart gradually softens. Intentionally take steps to soften your heart.


Cry out to the Spirit to help you dissolve any hardness in your heart.

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