Summer is here ( maybe not officially but in spirit), and as such I wear flip flops or go barefoot much of the time. While it keeps my feet considerably cooler, it inevitably produces calluses on my feet. Actually, I work in the yard so much, I end up with them on my hands too, if I’m not careful. So, what does that have to do with the price of eggs? Glad you asked. When we have a lot of experience with our hearts in serving the public or just our family and those we are serving are much more comfortable with being served than serving back, it is a constant push against our hearts. In time, the heart can build up calluses on it as well, calluses of indifference, anger, bitterness, impatience, hatred even, etc. It is very hard to feel anything once the calluses are there. Prevention is all good and well but what if the calluses are there? To understand how to solve the problem, we first need to understand it. Calluses are actually begun as God’s gift to us and our skin for protection. It starts small and if unchecked grows thicker as the body feels the need is there for self protection. Imbalance causes it. Yes, we need to serve the Lord and those needing it with gladness. However, sometimes we need time to relax and revive with prayer and Bible reading and meditation as well as rest. To keep them from building up again once they’re gone, that is what we must remember and make a priority. But to remove the calluses of the heart, we must use the same procedures to remove those of our feet. First, we must get off them. What? That works for the feet but how do you get off the heart? You stop applying so much pressure, must stop doing so much, must cease activities that hurt it. This first step involves the word “no”. How often you have to use that word for a few weeks or months is in direct proportion to how thick the calluses have become. Then, you soak those calluses. How do you soak your heart? Good question. A good soaking involves rest and immersion in the waters of baptism and renewal and revival and Bible reading and prayer and seeking God and finding Him (because He promises that when we seek Him we will find Him every time). Next step is most unpleasant. It is the sloughing off of the callus. If extremely thick, some cutting is also required for the outermost layers. This is cutting out the negative activity or people from your life which your heart feels you need protection from. When you give and someone in your life (who is capable of giving back) only takes, it is okay to stop giving and cut off or slough away that callus builder. We don’t have to keep giving our pearls away to pigs. It’s in the Bible, very true. Praise God for free will! Then, when we’ve gotten back to good health, we need to slather the lotion of worship and praise and spending time alone with God to finish the procedure. And remember the balance mentioned previously to keep the calluses from building up again. God bless you!