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Walled-In Hearts
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Years ago a man purchased a remote castle in Spain. Vandals were destroying the old building, so the man hired a builder to put a protective wall around the castle. Weeks later the man checked on the builder’s progress and nothing had been done. The builder complained, “I cannot find any materials to build a wall.” The owner replied, “I don’t care what it takes, build a wall!”

The next time the owner visited his castle, he smiled at a new wall being built around his valuable citadel. But when he walked through the gate he discovered the builder had used materials from the castle itself to build the wall. His fortress was being destroyed!

Our hearts are like a castle. Some of us have built walls around our hearts to protect ourselves. Perhaps we have been hurt so deeply in life that we are determined to never allow anyone or anything to hurt us again. But these walls to protect ourselves can end up destroying our hearts. We can be so walled in, that we can no longer love those around us. We close up emotionally. Our hearts become hard toward others. Our spouses and children can be deeply wounded because we are unavailable relationally.

Born Again

There is only one solution to a walled-in heart. Jesus says in John 3:3 that we must be born again. We need to let the cold, rock walls around our hearts come down so that God can give us new hearts. A Scripture verse I have memorized and often quote in my own prayer time is this: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

There is nothing wrong with walls to protect you. It is not wrong to say to people, “You may come this far, but no further.” The problem is not building a wall. The problem is building a wall without doors or windows. These types of walls keep all people out—not just people who might hurt us, but people who love us as well. God wants you to love and be loved. You cannot give love or receive love unless you open your heart. If your heart is like stone, or if it is hidden by thick, cold walls, open your life up to the God who can give you a new heart.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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