It’s been there for years. Actually, it’s been there for as long as I can remember. I’ve done everything humanly possible to get rid of it, but it won’t go away.
I’m talking about the callous on my big toe. It’s annoying, looks terrible, and is sometimes painful. One day, it made an appearance and it’s been giving me grief ever since.
It seems once a callous is present, it’s there to stay. You can keep it under control, but it’s a lifetime effort. I’ve used exfoliators, pumice stones, and a variety of gadgets that promise to make them magically go away, leaving your skin baby soft. Even regular pedicures don’t do the trick. Having a callous is something I have to be aware of and work on consistently. Left unattended, it gets totally out of control.
God often shows me practical life lessons through unseemly sources—like feet—and this has been no exception. This particular lesson has to do with the heart and how callouses grow when we refuse to forgive, hold grudges, and maintain a bad (inappropriate and ungodly) attitude toward someone. The more we let those things go unnoticed, the harder they are to deal with.
Sometimes forgiving is easy. At other times it takes an immense effort on our part to let go of the hurt when someone has disappointed, offended, or betrayed us. When we ignore or try to justify our feelings, that callous begins to grow around our heart. The Bible calls it a root of bitterness—a poison that seeps into our soul, defiling us and everyone in our path.
Unfortunately, I’ve been fertile ground a few times in my life for a root of bitterness and, trust me, it’s no fun. This is why we’re instructed throughout God’s Word to guard our hearts, esteem others more highly than ourselves, and to walk in love and forgiveness. We have to be alert daily to the signals that warn us when we’re headed for dangerous territory.
The good news? God is quick to forgive—and forget. When we realize we’re harboring bad attitudes of resentment, all we have to do is confess our sin and receive His forgiveness and cleansing. He will take supernatural tweezers and pluck out everything ungodly that has taken root and then restore us to a right relationship with Him.
By the way, I received a new gadget this past Christmas that is doing quite well keeping my callous under control. All I have to do is remind myself to use it regularly, just like I need to remember to daily confess my sin and receive God’s pardon.
If you have the makings of a callous, better get it under control.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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