“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.” – Heb 3:12-13
How do we fight against spiritual hardness of heart? How do we avoid being deceived by our sin? In His wonderful kindness, God has provided the answer. He is passionate that we grow in godliness, and has graciously instructed us how we might do so. The solution is clear, and because of the gospel we have much hope for growth.
In this passage we are charged to exhort one another as a means of guarding against the deceitfulness of sin. We are called to exhort, encourage, and challenge one another for the purpose of helping them grow in godliness. And by the same token, we are desperately in need of exhortation and encouragement from other Christians. The fact is, without the involvement of others, we will not grow as God intends and we are in danger of being hardened and deceived by sin. We have pockets of sin that we are blind to, and without the insight of others we simply won’t see them. As Paul Tripp puts it, “Personal insight is the result of community.”
The solution is obvious but not always easy. We must involve others in our spiritual lives. It’s crucial for us to be surrounded by people who know us well, who can identify our spiritual blind spots, and who can graciously correct us. And we should make it easy for these people to correct us. We should beg them for correction, and plead with them to point out our sin. Most people are reluctant to point out areas of sin and we should do everything possible to make it a pleasant experience for them. Take notes, ask questions, whatever it takes.
Do you have a few, well-trusted individuals in your life who will correct you, challenge you, and encourage you? Do you make it easy for them to correct you? Are you grateful for their correction? Husbands, do you ask your wife for correction on a regular basis? Do you humbly and gratefully respond when she brings correction? We are blind to sin, and we desperately need the help of others. If you don’t have someone in your life who serves this role, get someone…soon.