When you listen to a teaching or read a book ... and the teaching is hard. What do you do with the lesson?
But first, this is the song of my heart lately:
Okay, back to the idea of what happens when the teaching du-jour GRATES on your heart. You do NOT like it, agree with it, etc. What do you do?
Some of my tools have carbide tips. This bit of carbide is incredibly hard and makes the tool or blade much longer-lasting. An example: if you have a regular nailer or stapler and you use it to put on a composite-shingle roof, you will probably need to replace the tip after just one roof because the hard, rough surface of the shingles will wear it out. But if it's a hard-weld or carbide tip, then you're all good, because the carbide tip won't have been scratched all to pieces by the sharp, rough roofing surface. The carbide tip is untouched.
I have other tools that are made of softer metals, like aluminum. If I want to scratch my initials into an aluminum speed-square, it's no problem--the metal will yield to my manipulations.
So in the context of hard teaching, the question is this: when is it right to be carbide, and when is it right to be aluminum?
It's not an easy question! If I have a carbide heart, pride is crouching at my door. The Bible says "Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them." It's easy to see this, right? If I am reading a book or listening to a teaching and all the while saying to myself "No, it's wrong; this message has nothing for me; I will not listen; I will not change..." then it's very probable that I'm acting in pride or at least oriented that direction. It's not good.